Bitter Phoenix Memory for Edwards
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on March 11, 2016 | 5:04 P.M. EST
Carl Edwards is doing his best to forget the disappointment he had at Phoenix International Raceway last November. (Photo: Getty Images)
Carl Edwards is doing his best to forget the disappointment he had at Phoenix International Raceway last November.
Rain shortened the penultimate race of the 2015 season and took away Edwards’ shot at advancing in the Chase. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the truncated event and "Mother Nature" spoiled any chance Edwards had of making The Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he was credited with 12th place.
"I appreciate you bringing that up," Edwards said, generating laughter during Friday’s media session at PIR. "I had a dog that died when I was a kid that really stuck with me, too. That was wonderful.
"That’s just the way racing goes. If not for that rain, I’d like to think we’d have had a shot at competing for the championship. As bad as it was, it also reminded me that, 'Hey, we were that close to getting a championship.' "
All Edwards can do is focus on running well in Sunday’s Good Sam 500. He’s started his second season at Joe Gibbs Racing on a positive note but acknowledges there’s still work to do for his team to become more competitive. He pointed to this race a year ago as one of JGR’s turning points that triggered a successful season that ended with Kyle Busch as champion.
"We won with basically every (rules) package NASCAR presented last year," Edwards said, "at all types of tracks. When I came over to JGR, it shocked me how much JGR had struggled at Phoenix. They've made it a point to work hard on it, so we’ll see what a year has gotten us."
Edwards had experience at the one-mile oval before he made his move into NASCAR racing. It’s a track he’s always enjoyed and looks forward to an opportunity to shine on Sunday.
"This place has been so great to me," Edwards said. "I’ve had some super races here. I’ve had a lot of fun. The first pavement race I ever ran was here. It’s just that right size, too. If you’re going fast, you can still race really close."
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Sunday's Good Sam 500 beginning at 2:30 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.