Article by NASCAR Wire Service
Edwards, who characterizes himself as a realist, feels he has put the close runner-up finish in its proper place. That doesn't mean, however, that he hasn't spent the offseason chafing to get back to the racetrack.
"It bothered me after the race for a few minutes, but that's not how I try to do things," Edwards told the NASCAR Wire Service during a media day question-and-answer session at Daytona International Speedway. "I go out and do the best I can, but I'm a realist. There's a reality in the world, and the reality is that we finished second. That's just it.
"I didn't really have much trouble with that. What I had trouble with is the waiting for the season, just sitting around . . . no racing, no racing, trying to get up in the morning and find constructive things to do. I am ready to go race. I cannot wait to get in that racecar."
It's not that Edwards gave the championship away. He finished second in each of the last three races only to see Stewart post two victories and a third. Stewart's winÂ in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway left him tied with Edwards in the standings, with Stewart winning the tiebreaker based on number of victories during the season.
"In all honesty, if I'm able to put the fierce competitiveness I have aside, it was a neat thing to be a part of, to be a part of that championship race and to be forced to perform that way and do the best we could . . .
"At the end of the race, I don't know how far Tony and I were ahead of the rest of the field, but it felt like both of us were just on a mission. We raised each others' games. If either one of us is in the hunt for it (this) year going into Homestead, I feel sorry for whoever's racing against us, because I think we both have a really good experience under our belts."