|Edwards covets win at Kansas|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 02 October 2010 10:16|
Carl Edwards dreams of winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway.
``If I had to pick a race to win, this would be the one I would pick over the Daytona 500 or the Brickyard 400,'' said Edwards, who grew up 90 minutes away in Columbia, Mo.
``It would be that special to me. I'm not saying that because I'm sitting here. That is the truth.''
Edwards won a truck race here in 2004, and almost got his Cup victory with a desperation move in 2008. He tried to bounce off the wall and past Jimmie Johnson on the final lap - and succeeded for a moment. But Johnson rallied past him to grab the victory.
This year, Edwards is taking a longer view.
He wants a Kansas win, but he's sixth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship standings and doesn't want to fall out of contention if a gamble goes bad in Sunday's race, the third of 10 in NASCAR's playoffs.
``If there was a giant risk to win this race this weekend that might cost us the championship, I would have to go for the championship, at least right now,'' said Edwards, who will start 31st.
``At this point in my career, I want that championship trophy and to see what that feels like.''
POLE WINNER CRASHES: Kasey Kahne, who will start Sunday's race from the pole, spun out and hit the wall during Saturday's early practice session.
The crash damaged the right side of Kahne's car, but will not affect his starting position Sunday.
``I just overshot Turn 1 a little bit and got loose and got into the wall,'' Kahne said. ``But we won't have to go to a backup. It didn't affect any of the wheels, just the body. It won't have any impact on tomorrow.''
NOT CONCEDING ANYTHING: Matt Kenseth, currently 11th in the Chase standings, played down suggestions that he's already looking toward next year.
``You are always working on trying to make your cars better, make your team better and make your driving better,'' said Kenseth, whose 2003 Cup title - with only one race victory - spurred NASCAR to implement the Chase.
``You are always working on that. I wouldn't say we are using it to prepare for next year necessarily. We are trying to do the best we can this week and at the same time think ahead to how we can make things better.''
Kenseth, who trails Chase leader Denny Hamlin by 165 points heading into Sunday's race, will start on the outside of the fourth row. Despite starting in the top 10 and running the third-fastest practice lap Saturday morning, Kenseth wasn't happy.
``We haven't practiced very good today,'' he said. ``We had one fast lap, but we haven't been running real good. All of the Fords showed up with more speed this weekend, but I don't really know why, to be honest with you. It just seemed like they all had more speed this weekend when we unloaded.''
BAYNE JOINS ROUSH FENWAY: Trevor Bayne will close out the season with Roush Fenway Racing, which signed him this week and gave him a car for Saturday's Nationwide Series race.
Bayne was seventh in the Nationwide standings going into the race, with five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. He will run the No. 17 for Roush Fenway through the rest of the season.
Bayne said he made the jump from Michael Waltrip Racing because of sponsorship issues and the chance to jump into a competitive Roush car.
``I am a race car driver and I like to drive race cars and Roush Fenway is making the commitment for me,'' he said Saturday. ``They are committed to putting me in race cars and being competitive. I don't want to just show up and ride around, I want to be competitive and that's an organization that can do that.''
The move doesn't mean an impending leap to Sprint Cup competition, Bayne said, but there is speculation Roush will get him some Cup starts next season with partner Richard Petty Motorsports.
``I think my focus full time is Nationwide next year,'' he said. ``My plan is to make it to Cup one day, so if that happens earlier than expected then I look forward to that.''
ONE EYE ON THE SKIES: Kyle Busch will be watching the weather when Kansas Speedway picks up a second Sprint Cup race next spring.
``I think May is a little bit of tornado season,'' Busch said. ``That was maybe a little oddly planned, but hopefully we've got good shelter and that's all that matters.''
During a trucks race in April 2009, a tornado warning in the area prompted track officials to suggest that fans leave the grandstand and seek shelter.