Edwards Optimistic Despite Down Year
What a difference a year makes.
In 2011, Carl Edwards compiled the best average finish in Chase history, 4.9. Yet still it wasn’t enough to win the Sprint Cup championship. Tony Stewart, who won five of the 10 Chase races, won by a tie-breaker.
In the AAA 400, Edwards finished fifth, which would have been fine if it didn’t match his best finish all year. This year Edwards didn’t even make the Chase, and his Cup career has a certain pattern to it. Three times the Columbia, Mo., native and resident has had big years, and each time he has struggled the following season.
In 2005, Edwards finished third. The following year he was 12th. In 2008, Edwards finished second. The following year he was 11th. In 2011, he finished second. This year he currently ranks 14th.
Edwards, 33, can’t come up with a reason why.
“I could sit here, and we could go through every race and how they went,” he said recently. “I don’t know if you want to do that or not, but a lot of the races have been bad luck, where we got caught up in wrecks or we had trouble at Indy, where I thought we had a pretty decent car.
“We haven’t run as well as we need to run, but that’s the only way I know how to be is an optimist. That’s the only reason I’m sitting here in this suit driving for Jack Roush, because you always have to go out and give it your best. You’ve got to do everything you can, and at the end of the day, if you don’t get the result you want, that’s very frustrating. But I don’t look back, I try to look forward …”
Edwards wasn’t particularly placated by the AAA 400 performance, but he had finished 22nd, 36th, 17th, 19th and 19th in the previous five races.
“It was a decent finish,” he said. “We didn’t deserve to finish that far forward, but we had some lucky breaks and my guys did a good job on pit road.
“We’ll go back and work on it and figure out what we were missing there, because it seemed like all of us (meaning Edwards and teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth) struggled a little bit.”
Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at email@example.com.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.