Edwards Up for Challenge
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on March 19, 2016 | 10:55 A.M. EST
“You get to work here. You get to actually use the skills you have as a race-car driver.’’ (Photo: Getty Images)
Carl Edwards has no problem with what he expects to be a challenging day in Sunday’s Auto Club 400.
The new lower downforce aerodynamic rules package and Auto Club Speedway’s worn out and rough surface are expected to combine for what Edwards believes will be an interesting fifth race of the Sprint Cup Series season.
“I get a sense that everybody is really amped up about it,’’ Edwards. “I think the reason is you can really drive here. Watch the in-car cameras. Guys have their heads laid against the left-side head rest, they’re focused, and they’re correcting the car the whole way around the corner.
“You get to work here. You get to actually use the skills you have as a race-car driver.’’
Edwards has been one of the sport’s most outspoken drivers in terms of asking NASCAR to take more downforce away. He’s always been a proponent of the direction the sport is now heading and believes this year’s new rules are a good first step.
“You guys know how I feel about that whole subject but I’m really happy that NASCAR has made the steps they have,” Edwards said. “You’re seeing the results on the race track. It is more fun to drive. This package is just simply more fun. The driver has more of an influence. The tires fall off a little more. There’s more passing.
“I watched guys last week really driving the race cars. Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. was I mean just loose steering and it looked like he was running on dirt out there the whole time. That’s fun. Me, personally, I like that type of racing. So, yeah, that’s good.”
And he has high hopes for Sunday’s race in Fontana, the final stop of the west coast swing. ACS already has built a reputation for creating close competition and the kind of racing Edwards says the drivers embrace. The new rules should only help make things even better.
“I think all of the drivers – I’m pretty sure I can speak for all of them -- we've been looking forward to this race track,” he said. “The tires fall off a bunch here with multiple grooves. The new package should provide some good racing. You saw it last week that we were able to pass cars, we were able to get close, tires meant something and that’s what’s fun. This place should be a pretty good race.”
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Sunday's Auto Club Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.