Carl Edwards entered Saturday night's Richmond NASCAR race knowing several things had to go right in order for him to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Ultimately, Edwards never had the speed to contend and spent the majority of the race a lap down before finishing with a 17th-place result.
Edwards conceded that one race didn't mean the difference between making or missing the Chase, but rather a collection of problems throughout the season. The team dug an early hole it just couldn't get out of.
"It's about 26 races and we just let too many points get away for a bunch of different reasons," Edwards said. "There was a lot of luck involved and everyone tried really hard. This is the fastest we have been the last six weeks all year and I am proud of everyone for rallying around Chad (Norris, current crew chief) and Bob (Osborne, former crew chief) included for making the best effort we could."
With his championship hopes dashed, Edwards plans to turn his attention toward the final 10 races and what he can do to help Roush Fenway Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle win the championship.
"(My role) is to be the best teammate I can be and to help them develop any setups they can and help them during practice" Edwards said. "There isn't much I can do on the racetrack once the race starts, but before the race starts I can help."
Missing the Chase has to be considered a major disappointment for the team that finished second in last season's championship and entered this year as the preseason favorite. So with 10 races remaining in the 2012 season, Edwards is already looking forward to next year.
"We will just go try to build the best team we can for next year and try to make sure a Ford wins this championship."