Currently scheduled for release at the end of this month, NASCAR 06: Total Team Control--as its title suggests--will be the first game in EA Sports' NASCAR racing series to afford you any level of communication with your team. During a recent interview, GameSpot Sports asked second-year NASCAR driver Carl Edwards just how important that aspect of the sport is in real life.
GameSpot: Do you enjoy racing games? If so, which titles are your favorites? Do you like other game genres?
Carl Edwards: I use my racing game to help with my driving. I think it helps me a lot, especially when I have not been to a track yet. Of course, lately I've been racing the Indy and Watkins Glen tracks a lot and I think it will help. It seems to have helped in the past just learning the layout of the track and some of the characteristics. Nowadays [the games] are pretty real.
GS: Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a new track for you. Did you get a chance to test? How excited are you to be able to race there?
CE: We tested there a few weeks ago. It was really neat. Kurt Busch was there testing with me, so I went to him with a lot of questions and he was really helpful. When we first went out we were two seconds off, and after I talked to Kurt we picked up quite a bit. I think we ended up running the fastest lap time that day.
GS: How will you approach your car setup for the race at Indy?
CE: Indy is a really neat track, it reminds me a little of Pocono in the way it drives. There are several places where you can pick up a lot of time if you adjust your driving, which is neat. Of course handling will be really important, so we need to have a balanced car in order to run up front.
GS: What are the components of a successful NASCAR team in your mind, and how do they work together to make things happen?
CE: I think communication is extremely important. The driver needs to explain to the crew chief what the car is doing and it's up to the crew chief to interpret that information and talk to the engineer, motor department, chassis setup, body shop, etc. in order to build the fastest race car possible. I know that sounds basic, but we have to be able to communicate on and off the track in order to get the results we want.
GS: On the track, how much communication do you have with your teammates?
CE: I talk to my crew chief, Bob Osborne, and my spotter, Bobby Hudson, throughout the race. It's mostly Bobby talking during the race, and then Bob talks when it's time to pit, asking me about the handling and stuff so he can make the right adjustments.
GS: Thanks for your time.