Carl Edwards, Ford looking for more in run-up to Chase

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Carl Edwards currently sits second in the Sprint Cup points going into tomorrow’s race at Pocono Raceway, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has one of only two wins collected so far this season by Ford (the other coming from David Ragan at Talladega). He reckons that neither he nor his Roush Fenway Racing team are having a bad year, but feels that the manufacturer’s entire stable of teams need to do more in order to feel truly confident as the Chase gets closer.

For example, Edwards indicated that he’s open to his Roush Fenway Racing team having more conversations with the two-car group at Penske Racing, another Blue Oval squad.

“That’s something that I would be really interested in,” Edwards said on Friday at Pocono. “I know that Ford from the beginning of this season has said, ‘We want to be One Ford. We want to win together. We want to do everything we can.’ And I believe that what I’ve learned recently is that it’s not as simple as all the engineers get in the room and compare notes, because even if we understood where our strengths and weaknesses are, we have different manufacturing processes, different testing processes for the parts.

“So that process of joining forces and being a One Ford team, even if we opened all of our notebooks to each other, it’s not quite as simple as I thought it was or it might seem, so I guess what I’m saying is that’s on the table. We’ve talked about it and I believe that our success in the future is gonna involve a lot of teamwork between Roush Fenway Racing and Penske.”

To that end, Edwards said that he’s communicated regularly with Penske pilots Joey Logano and reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski after numerous races this season. As for where his Roush Fenway team stands, Edwards is trying to keep things in perspective but again recognizes a need to get better now so they won’t be hurting later.

“If the Chase started right now, I think we’d be in a little bit of trouble,” he admitted. “I don’t think we are as fast as we need to be and the way we look at it is we’re not getting beat by a driver or a crew chief, we’re getting beat by organizations…We’re not bad. We’ve won a race. We’re second in points.

“We’re not panicking or anything, but we’ve got to make slight adjustments now that will hopefully pay off when the Chase starts because we don’t only want to be in the Chase, we want to be in this Chase and dominate it.”

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.