When Carl Edwards addressed the NASCAR media on Wednesday, he told reporters that he wasn't concerned about wrecking his car in this afternoon's Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway.
"This might sound dumb, but I am not too worried about if we crash the car," he said. "We have a good backup car and it is identical and should be just as fast."
But Edwards' Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth isn't buying it. Kenseth noted that Edwards, the Daytona 500 pole-sitter, would lose the No. 1 starting spot for Sunday's race if he crashed today and needed a backup car.
"Well, Carl is lying because he is on the pole if he doesn't tear his car up," Kenseth said Thursday. "I don't think he can start on the pole with a backup car. He is not being truthful at all."
Kenseth also said Edwards wouldn't want to wreck, because all teams bring their best car as the primary ride for the 500 – not the backup.
"If you didn't think this is your best car, they wouldn't have brought this one for the 500," he said.
So what do the teammates agree on?
Both feel the Gatorade Duel races are an opportunity to learn for the Daytona 500. Today's 150-mile qualifying races don't mean anything in terms of points, but they could teach drivers something about what the 500 will look like.
"I would like to race pretty hard in that 150," Edwards said. "Obviously, if it gets really crazy, then maybe I would think about trying to give myself more room. But right now, the mission is to go race and learn."
Kenseth said he'll take a similar approach at the behest of crew chief Jimmy Fennig.
"(Fennig) wants me to race hard, and that is what the fans want us to do and what we are paid to do," he said. "We can learn stuff for Sunday by putting ourselves in all kinds of different positions and racing hard. That is our plan, to try to work our way to the front and hopefully have a shot at the end."