Edwards' new car getting the job done

Jerry Bonkowski

When it comes to NASCAR's new car, Carl Edwards has become like the little kid who had the only football on the block and wouldn't share.

Somehow, he and crew chief Bob Osborne have found something within the latest generation stock car that they've been able to capitalize on en route to a series-leading three wins.

And while most of Edwards’ rivals will continue to complain about how the new car doesn't turn in the corners or handles horribly on the straightaway, he will merrily ride right by them, smiling and waving as he goes.

It's time to get over it, Edwards says. Just because he's won at California, Las Vegas and this past Sunday in Texas doesn't mean he's going to win another race this year.

But his operation is so far ahead of everyone else that they're practically working in their own ZIP code.

"I’ve heard people say that the races are boring," Edwards said. "People always want something to complain about; if it’s too hard to drive, you don’t get enough side-by-side racing.

"The fact is that these are the 43 best drivers in the world. The cars have 900 horsepower and go 200 miles an hour, and the track is slippery and the tires are slippery, and that’s a spectacle – and that’s what it’s supposed to be.

"It’s not supposed to be easy for everyone. It’s not supposed to be driving down the interstate. I’m tired of hearing people complain, the media make up stories about how terrible it is and stuff – this is auto racing."

But when guys like two-time defending Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, as well as others like Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. complain about the racing and saying they're afraid to go side-by-side with other drivers for fear they may wreck, there definitely seems to be a problem stemming from the new car.

With his win Sunday at Texas, Edwards moves up four spots to enter the top 10 in the Sprint Cup standings. Had it not been for the 100-point penalty he incurred because of the Las Vegas missing oil canister lid, Edwards would likely be in fourth place right now, still 84 points out of first.

"I just do the best I can," Edwards said. "Our cars are really good. And it does feel good to win, though, and look in there and see the oil-tank cover on the car. That’s good. It’s what we do. We go out and try to win, and the other stuff doesn’t matter.”

Edwards and Osborne won't tell what their secret discovery is. They will not share the wealth with anyone, particularly opposing teams.

And even with Edwards' own Roush Fenway Racing teammates, Osborne will only impart just so much information to the crews of Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray and David Regan.

"There are going to be people that are faster," Edwards said. "We’re going to have days when we can’t keep up because the car is too hard to drive."

So, the best thing for Edwards right now is to keep riding his current success string and see if it does the same thing this year that he did last year: lead him to the championship (he won the Busch Series title in 2007).

"We're going to have days when we can't keep up because the car is too hard to drive," Edwards said. "Somebody's going to win. That's racing.

"I think that as long as the tires don't blow off, (the new car is) fine. It just makes it more exciting to win, and it means more."

Jerry Bonkowski is National NASCAR Columnist for Yahoo! Sports ( and a featured contributor to Gatehouse News Service. He can be reached at


- Is the first driver to earn three victories this season … and has done it in just seven starts.

- Edwards' win at Texas moved him from 14th to 10th in the standings. Had it not been for his 100-point penalty for equipment violations found after his win at Las Vegas last month, Edwards would be fourth, 84 points out of first place.

- As good as his wins are, Edwards has struggled at times in 2008, as well, with other finishes of 16th, 19th and a DNF 42nd-place showing. Had those finishes been better, particularly the DNF, Edwards could very well be leading the points right now.