The NASCAR season is young, but already Carl Edwards has reached the highest and lowest points which a driver can experience throughout a season outside of a Daytona 500 victory and a Sprint Cup championship.
Expectations were high going into Daytona preseason testing, but quickly things turned south for the new faces of the 99 team. Crew chief Jimmy Fennig had his hands full preparing a backup car after the initial car was destroyed during Preseason Thunder testing. Soon, another wreck, and another Edwards car destroyed.
Then, during the race, Edwards was once again caught up in a wreck not of his own doing. Same story as before for the Carl Edwards we have become familiar with. Last year was long enough for Carl Edwards to disappear from the realm of relevant drivers. Even though the year before, 2011, Edwards won two races and finished runner up to Jimmie Johnson in the championship.
That’s why, as Edwards sat there, his car being viciously repaired and a microphone in his face, his guarantee of a Phoenix win seemed preposterous for most. But, Phoenix proved yet again it is a track that can change a drivers fortune. With the win-less streak broken it is up for Edwards to get back to his championship contending form.
Las Vegas is a great place for a Roush-Fenway Racing driver to continue a confidence boosting streak. Over the history of the track, seven of the fifteen Sprint Cup races have been won by Roush drivers. Edwards holds two of those wins, including a victory during the 2008 season, the most successful of his career. During that season Edwards not only finished second in standings, but won the second race of the season.
Which Carl Edwards will appear in Sin City this weekend and for the rest of the season for that matter? Last season was not as disastrous as it seemed, and it appears that cousin Carl didn’t leave the ranks of a chase level driver, but whether or not he can contend for his first championship will be something to keep track of the entire season.
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