Edwards the Overachiever

Overlooked is how much Carl Edwards has made of what -- AFLAC! -- is apparently a lame-duck season. (Getty Images for NASCAR)
Overlooked is how much Carl Edwards has made of what — AFLAC! — is apparently a lame-duck season. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clinton, S.C., Friday, June 27, 2014, 4:14 p.m.

Take a look at the Sprint Cup point standings, and it’s hard to make a case that Carl Edwards’ team is off.

He has two victories and is sixth in the rankings, 71 points behind leader Jeff Gordon.

Yet Edwards hasn’t had a dominant car in any of the sixteen races contested so far, even though he won two of them. Edwards and crew chief Jimmy Fennig have made more of what they’ve had than anyone else. In points, Edwards ranks higher than Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, and Kurt Busch, all of whom have been regularly faster. Edwards is eleventh in money earnings.

It’s no wonder his talents are valued. It’s no wonder he’s likely to leave Roush Fenway Racing. No one should blame him when he does.

Ryan Newman hasn't often been the top priority at the teams where he has worked. (HHP/Alan Marler photo for Chevrolet)
Ryan Newman hasn’t often been the top priority at the teams where he has worked. (HHP/Alan Marler photo for Chevrolet)

4:25 p.m.

Lots of great talents seem unfulfilled these days.

Kyle Busch, plucking Truck races like blackberries from the vine, but perpetually frustrated in the main events. … Ryan Newman, once the driver deemed worthy of Rookie of the Year over Jimmie Johnson. … Kasey Kahne, for whom nothing ever seems to work. … Denny Hamlin, whose last few years have been marred by injury in a sport where injuries have grown increasingly rare … Brian Vickers, his progress slowed by medical misfortune … and even Dale Earnhardt Jr., who, after all, has never won a championship.

It’s inevitable when one driver has won six championships in the past eight years, but it’s still painful to watch.

Kyle Busch seems so all alone. (John Clark photo)
Kyle Busch seems so all alone. (John Clark photo)

4:34 p.m.

There’s been plenty of time to think about the waste Kyle Busch has laid to the Camping World Truck Series. Lots of this time occurred watching Busch winning every race he enters.

My latest thought is that the biggest problem isn’t the presence of Busch. It’s the absence of another.

Busch’s record in Trucks and Nationwide competitition — wait, that’s the wrong word, competition – in Trucks and Nationwide activity, is amazing. Those numbers would count for more if others with his talent were interested.

Some balance has been restored to the Nationwide Series by the rise of Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, not to mention the participation of Cup hands like Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Busch. The young stars of Nationwide are exciting to watch. The young drivers in Trucks watch Busch excitedly as the back of his Toyota gets smaller and smaller. It often looks as if he is racing Jamaican bobsledders.

It’s not Busch’s fault that he wins. The chief problem is others being unable to stop him.

Another is the resources of prominent Cup organizations being put in the field like Chinese infantry against the bedraggled militia of the regulars. A third is the utter domination of Toyotas in the Truck Series.

In Trucks, Busch doesn’t play for the Yankees. He plays for the Harlem Globetrotters.

If you’re interested in other aspects of my writing, take a look at wellpilgrim.wordpress.com, and consider buying your copy (or Kindle file) of my novels, The Intangibles and The Audacity of Dope.

2 thoughts on “Edwards the Overachiever”

  1. Edwards appears to be the real deal.
    I am so tired of hearing how the drivers in the Nationwide and Camping World series want the Cup drivers racing with them as they learn so much from them. My feeling is that this is nothing more then an attempt to be politically correct. Otherwise they’d be seen as whiners. Anybody who says they like losing money is nuts. Looking at the grandstands the last two nights if they need cup drivers to draw people they are indeed in trouble. It has gotten so bad that on Sirius radio today the moderators were already talking of Kyle going for the triple. They implied that the odds of him losing tonite were zilch.

  2. Monte-

    Can’t help but watch Sparta with a big grin on my face.

    It reminds me of the first race there when I sat up all night laughing at your tweets from Carmageddon.

    Some of the funniest stuff I’ve read (but I wasn’t stuck in traffic).

    Thanks!

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