Carl, you said you heard the engine have a little different sound. Did it perform as it had been, or was it mostly an audible thing?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, it was an audible thing, and I lifted off of the throttle when I heard it, so what I was the last few laps is going down on it to about three quarters of the end of the straightaway and then half throttle so it wouldn't turn that many rpm. I never turned it hard again after I heard that noise. I mean, it could have just been the wind buffeting the car a little differently or something like that, but I wasn't going to take any chances.
Was it with like five or six to go?
CARL EDWARDS: Yeah, something like that, and I figured that was far enough to go still that we might get another restart, and I was thinking about how to protect that engine the best I could. It's probably fine. I mean, it really is. Nobody had any trouble, right, none of our guys? So it's probably just fine. You guys, man, you're coming around, they're like, six to go, five to go, I mean, it's like the clock is ticking. It's another dimension of time, and it's very slow, so a lot goes through your mind.
But 20 to go... I wish there was a little microphone you could hear what drivers were thinking, because there's so much that goes through your mind. You know, you're thinking, "All right, 20 to go, I'm going to plan on a caution; what am I going to do for the restart?" You have to keep your mind busy because if you just start thinking, "Wow, we're going to win the race," then it all goes to hell. The key is to try to just focus on what you have to do, but I mean, we do this to win. We do this for that victory, and so when it's right there within your grasp, that's the toughest time to stay the course and keep focus.
Bob, the new nose, how did you feel it impacted the racing today, and how was it to try to make adjustments? Was it more difficult or easier than in the past?
BOB OSBORNE: It's hard for me to comment on how it really affected the race without having a back to back from old nose to new nose, so I don't really want to step out on that. But adjustability and how the car reacted on the racetrack seemed to be OK. Carl could probably comment on whether it was more influenced by traffic this year than last year, but the car responded well to changes, I thought.
CARL EDWARDS: I felt like the cars were still very aero dependent. We were still a little tight in the center of the corner. It wasn't like we had a ton more front grip or something. The car drove well like it did at Homestead, but there's still things we can do to make it better.
Bob, you brought a new chassis out this week, performed outstanding in practice, great average speeds. Do you guys have a set plan of what you're doing with these chassis and what races they're going to run, or is it just kind of a week-by-week thing to where you're like, let's just try this? How does that whole process work?
CARL EDWARDS: Bob doesn't just try anything. Bob has a plan for everything.
BOB OSBORNE: I was going to make a joke and say, yeah, just wing it. I have written down on a piece of paper every chassis until the end of the season already.
Until the end of the season, really?
BOB OSBORNE: Yes. That obviously will change if damage happens to the chassis and we have to replace it. But I already have a plan for the entire season.
Carl, in addition to just winning, do you view winning more important for the bonus points when you enter the Chase, or the fact that if you do get a couple of wins here, you can maybe experiment with some things knowing that you'd have that wild card to fall back on?
CARL EDWARDS: I hadn't thought of the bonus points in the Chase, but I did think a lot about the wild card position. A lot of people knock the new points system saying they didn't put enough emphasis on winning. But when you look at it from the wild card perspective, the bonus points in the Chase, those two things alone make winning extremely important right now. So for us, the thing I'm most excited about this win or that makes me most excited about it is that we've got one in the column, in that win column already, and if we do well enough, maybe win one or two more, we'll be in a position to have that wild card no matter what happens at Bristol or Talladega, some of these tracks that we may not be in control of our own destiny, so it's good.