Charlotte, NC--(Release) For Roush Fenway Racing, no matter the changes that NASCAR institutes -- in qualifying or the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup -- the team's goals remain the same, drivers said during the third day of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"We're going to go out and try to win every race and try to win the championship no matter what the format is," said Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Fastenal Ford. "I think the important thing for our sport, in my opinion, is to really decide, really, how we want to crown a champion. I grew up with it being, you know, the race is one thing and the season determines the champion and so it took me a long time to shift my thinking to the Chase format. And I guess this will change it by basically a factor of 10 if what I hear proposed is how we're going to do it. I think it'll be a major difference in how we crown a champion. If it's exciting and that's what people want, then that's what we have to do, but it's very different."
Edwards' teammate, Greg Biffle agreed.
"We all pull out on that racetrack to win because it's our pride," Biffle said, who drives the No. 16 3M Ford. "We don't try to finish third; we don't try to finish fifth; we try to win every week and we do what we can. And so I think we've got caught up in that. You get out of the car, you do the interview, you finish fourth. We had a good day. We finished fourth, top five finish, it was a good day in the points for us. I think people take that as, 'Well he's just points racing.' We try to win all of 'em, but you've got to find a positive in finishing fourth or fifth or a top 10. I know there's more emphasis on winning now. We're going to do the same as we've always done and try to win every race we show up at."
And it's not just the rumored changes to the Chase format that drivers will have to deal with in 2014. NASCAR's new rules for "knockout" qualifying will also pose new challenges on the track.
"I kind of imagine it's going to be similar to an exciting Indy qualifying session," said Stenhouse, driver of the No. 17 Nationwide Ford. "You're going to want the shade on the racetrack; you're going to want a clear racetrack, so I definitely think it's going to make it exciting. I know I enjoyed qualifying last year the way it was. This is going to be good for the fans. It's still going to be your first lap on a set of tires so you're still going to have one lap to get it done."