Click on the logo below for the most complete Dirt Late Model coverage anywhere

For the Best RV Sales and Service


Rich's Articles & Blogs


« Tension between Hamlin and Busch will not ruin JGR momentum | Main | Who should make up the second class of Hall of Fame inductees? »

Carl Edwards no less disappointing than Junior

By admin | May 24, 2010

By Richard Allen

There has been a great deal of attention focused on the struggles of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on this website and just about every other NASCAR related media outlet. However, one driver has struggled every bit as much over the past year and a half or so and not nearly so much attention has been paid.

Carl Edwards was voted into the Sprint All Star Race by the fans. While he may not have the same following as Junior, he obviously has a great many supporters. No doubt, those fans are every bit as disappointed by their favorite’s lack of success as those of Earnhardt.

Edwards last won in 2008. That season, he won nine races and was considered by many to be the favorite for the Sprint Cup championship coming into 2009. To call last year anything other than a disappointment for the Roush Fenway Racing driver would be a misstatement.

He did qualify for the Chase for the Championship but was never really a factor on his way to an 11th place finish. Currently, Edwards ranks inside the top-12 of the standings, but again, he has not been a serious contender up to now.

Since the end of 2008 Edwards has almost completely faded from the front of the field altogether. He has had only eight top-5 finishes in the 48 races since winning in Homestead at the end of his most successful year.

Unlike Earnhardt, however, Edwards is driving for an entire organization that has struggled over the course of the past season and a half. Roush Fenway Racing won only three times in 2009 and has not yet scored a victory in 2010.

Edwards career has been somewhat filled with these type of ups and downs. In the seven years he has driven on the Sprint Cup circuit he has only won races in three seasons. In 2005 he won four times. He added three wins in 2007 and nine in 2008.

Like Earnhardt, Edwards drives one of the most heavily sponsored cars in NASCAR while at the same time his career has run hot and cold. And also like Junior, some have started to question which is the driver’s real ability level. Is this bad run an aberration from his true talent or is this the real Carl Edwards?

Edwards and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have several things in common. Both have large numbers of fans. Both are heavily sponsored and drive for high profile teams. And most importantly, both are in the midst of long dry spells that many people, including themselves, would like to see come to an end.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “Carl Edwards no less disappointing than Junior”

  1. Charles Says:
    May 25th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Richard I think Carl might have to team issues, and he is being bought down by Roushs lack of competitive cars!

    That being said I dont question Carls talent one bit!!!!!
    I bet if you so switch him or let him trade cars with say Mark Martin he would be in front again!!!

    Remember Mark was fading when Carl was rising at Roush!!!!!!! Most of these drivers can drive if they have a great car and team!!!!!!

    As far as Dale Jr problems, that is another issue!!!!!

  2. Tom Nasella Says:
    May 25th, 2010 at 9:35 am

    There is one rather significant difference in the plights of Edwards and Earnhardt, Jr. One drives the most dominant car - that would be a Chevy - for the most dominant team in NASCAR - that would be Hendrick Motorsports. Edwards, on the other hand drives a car - that would be a Ford - whose program has fallen so far behind that they’re lucky to even finish in the top 10. If Ford (and I’m beginning to wonder) ever gets it’s program back on track I’m sure we will see Edwards run circles around Junior like he always has.


  3. yankeegranny Says:
    May 25th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    The main difference is JR is a gentleman and Edwards is a thug who would wreci his grandmother to get ahead. In the eyes of the media, JR can’t do anything right and is a washed up has been who only is in racing because his last name is Earnhardt. On the other hand, “cousin Carl” is beloved by the media who excuse any and all of his his antics whether it be intentionally wrecking other drivers or fistfights in the garage area. While I would love to see JR win another race, I will cheer him on even if he doesn’t. On the other hand, I will admit to gloating when something bad happens to “Mr Ed.” Another good article, Rich, you are on a roll lately. Keep it up.

  4. Tom Nasella Says:
    May 25th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Ummmmm, Granny….is that Junior the same “gentleman” that called another driver (Todd Bodine) a cue ball headed fool? Is he the same “gentleman” who spun himself out on purpose to get a need caution flag? Is he the same “gentleman” who time after time has unleashed profanity laced tirades at his crew or crew chief? Is that the Junior we’re talking about?

  5. Stephen Hood Says:
    May 26th, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Why does it have to be Edwards sucks and Earnhardt is great or vice versa? I’m not an engineer but neither driver has done very well as the COT has evolved. Early on both drivers seemed to have a decent handle on the COT, but now both seem to be confused by the car with occasional days of lucidity. I believe that in the previous generation Hendrick car, Earnhardt would be a winner 2-4 times each season, although I believe Johnson would still be the dominate Hendrick driver. Edwards’ would probably be in the 3-5 win range though Biffle and Kenseth are no slouches. Could it be that the COT is tailor made for the skill sets and gifts of Busch/Hamlin/Johnson?

  6. Chip McLeod Says:
    May 26th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Perhaps it is not just Jr. Since he joined HMS in 2008, Jeff Gordon has also only won 1 race, Mears was winless in the #5 in 2008 and Martin had 5 wins in 2009, while JJ has 17 wins since the start of 2008. Not exactly parity in those numbers. Not when you consider that Tony and Ryan have won 5 times since the start of 2009 in the same type of equipment and even Keselowski has won in HMS equipment. While I am not exactly a huge fan of Jr.’s, nonetheless his numbers are impressive. It took him only 148 races to earn his 10th victory, compared to 179 races for Sr. And while Tony was the fastest to 10 victories of the current crop of drivers at 79 races(JJ and Ryan were next at 95 races each while Jeff took 96 races), it nonetheless shows that he is capable.
    Looking at Roush during the same period, they have won a total of 14 races. Subtracting Edward’s streak in 08 in which he won 9 races, the remainder of Roush Fenway has won a total of 5 races (Biffle and Kenseth 2 each and Jamie 1). It all goes to show that it is not necessarily the fact that JR and Carl cannot drive but that racing combinations (driver AND crew chief/crew) must all function as one. Think JJ and Chad Knaus.