Carl Edwards is well-read and knowledgeable about a variety of topics, able to speak intelligently on subjects from economics to physical fitness.
The former substitute teacher is sharp enough to act as his own agent in negotiations and hold his own in nearly any non-racing setting.
But when it comes to various happenings in NASCAR, Edwards often pleads ignorance when asked to comment on an issue that doesn't involve him.
Edwards, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader heading into Martinsville, simply won't bite when reporters attempt to gather opinions on matters unconnected to the Roush Fenway Racing driver.
From other drivers' struggles to their contract situations to on-track conflicts, Edwards doesn't care to insert himself into a situation that's not about him.
That may sound unremarkable, but among NASCAR drivers, Edwards is the exception rather than the rule.
"If two people have a problem, I don't think it's right to stand up and state your opinion on that, because it's not your business," he said Friday. "I feel like it's important to mind your own business and take care of things in a respectful manner."
For example: When Paul Menard was accused of intentionally spinning at Richmond, Edwards wanted no part of the controversy when asked about it the following week at Chicago.
"I have heard people murmur that there was some issue with Paul Menard," Edwards said then. "That is all I know. I don't know. I didn't see it. I didn't hear anything."
Asked about a seemingly non-controversial subject at Kansas – the potential departure of his beloved University of Missouri to the Southeastern Conference – Edwards demurred.
"I don't know enough about that," he said.
Nor did he want to delve into a sensitive subject like the recent death of Dan Wheldon.
"My only comment about what happened in the race at Las Vegas is that my thoughts and prayers and my family's thoughts and prayers are with Dan's family," he said. "That is my only comment I would like to say about that."
To a reporter working on a story about the struggles of Denny Hamlin: "I don't know much about Denny's situation. I don't know exactly what he has struggled with. I don't know why they are in the position they are in, if it is failures or they have run poorly. I haven't paid enough attention."
It's not that Edwards is being a jerk about it. He is always respectful in declining the questions he feels he doesn't want to answer and usually explains why.
To Edwards, it's a matter of principle to stick to subjects that concern him.
"There's always more to the story, and I learned through trial and error that sometimes when you jump out there and you comment on something, you can actually be doing something that's not right," he said. "...I don't think it's fair to just throw out an opinion that's uneducated.
"I think that's the wrong thing to do and I don't appreciate it when people do that about me, so, therefore, I try not to do it about other people."
So it was no surprise, after having been through a months-long negotiation with Roush Fenway Racing on a new contract, that Edwards wouldn't speculate on the first reports of Danica Patrick's full-time NASCAR plans in August.
"You know what I am going to do, because of what I just learned with my contract?" he said. "I am going to just wait to see what Danica has to say. That is what I am going to do."