Carl Edwards has had a long offseason to ponder what went wrong in 2012.
How in the world did he go from tying for the top spot in the standings in 2011 — losing the championship by a tiebreaker — to not making the Chase for the Sprint Cup?
He knows the simple answer: Edwards and his team just didn’t perform. This wasn’t a Kyle Busch situation where the team just had bad luck.
Edwards had no speed — he led more than one lap in just two races — and he had no confidence that he could drive his car where he wanted on the track.
The No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing team was just not very good compared to 2011 standards. He managed just three top-five finishes and 13 top-10s for a 15th-place finish in the standings just a year after 19 top-fives and 26 top-10s. He went through two crew chiefs, neither of whom will be with his team in 2013, and is riding a 69-race winless streak.