HAMMOND: Edwards Needs A Chip On His Shoulder

You don’t want to make everybody mad at you, but if I’m Carl Edwards, I’m going to be like a bull. I’m dropping my head and I’m running over anything in my way to get that win Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.

Because, if for some reason fellow NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon get wrecked and, once again, they find themselves running back there in the 30th positions and I go to Victory Lane . . . stranger things may happen. I could vault past them and into the Chase field.

There’s a road block that says “Bridge out, local traffic only” in terms of his battle for a wild-card berth, but this is one of those times he’s got to throw caution to the wind because he’s not a quitter. I don’t think that he’s going to do anything reckless like trying to take these guys out, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like you’ve got to go out there and at least go down swinging.

If you win and you lose, well that’s all you can do.

What happened to him the other night, unless somebody from Roush Yates tells me that we blew the engine for some reason by overrevving or anything like that, there’s nothing he can do about that. It’s totally out of his control and what Carl was doing was letting everybody know that if he had anything to do with it, which meant if he had an ill-handling race car and had to figure out how to drive that ill-handling race car to Victory Lane, he would.

He was going to give 110 percent and let the cards fall where they may.

If you don’t believe you can win, you won’t win.

And sadly enough, there’s one thing that these guys can’t control and that is when luck goes against you. Whether you’re Ryan Newman getting a flat tire and eventually wrecking at Bristol or getting caught up in the mess he got caught up in this past weekend at Atlanta, there’s certain things you can’t control.

And Carl is a victim of that right now.

You can go down the list of drivers this year — if there’s ever been a year where bad luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time has been a case study — from Jeff Gordon to Kasey Kahne now to Newman to Edwards, a lot of these drivers have been victims.

You can go back to Richmond earlier this year. Was Carl victimized when NASCAR ruled he had jumped the restart late in the race and penalized him? There was a lot of argument and discussion about that. That could have been a win that would have been huge, and maybe had him in a different position than where he is now going into Richmond for the second race.

I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and say it helps soften the blow that bad luck is a culprit in missing the Chase.

It sucks to work as hard as you do from one year to the next and go for 24 races and you can’t make it happen. This has been a tough and very bitter pill, I think, for him to swallow.

When you’re competitive and you like winning, just like we’re talking about with Kyle Busch and where everything is situated with him, these guys are addicts to Victory Lane. They love going to Victory Lane. They love leading the race and being talked about being the dominant car.

When you don’t have that happen, if you’re any kind of a racer, it’s supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to feel like somebody has just kicked you in the gut and smacked you upside the head all at the same time.