Battle Ready: Carl Edwards Teeming With Confidence For Sprint Cup Title Chase In 2016

Carl Edwards (Photo: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Carl Edwards (Photo: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

BOSTON – Tuesday NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards visited with crew members of the USS Constitution in Boston, one of the most battle tested ships in US Naval history.

A fitting setting for Edwards, who is of the belief that he is more prepared than ever to fight for a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in 2016.

Edwards sees being battle tested so many times over the last 10 years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship chase having prepared him well for this season.

“I feel like, especially with the current format, and everything that we have going on in the sport, I feel like this is as good a chance as I’ve ever had to win a championship,” Edwards said Tuesday in Boston, while making an appearance to promote the July 17 New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “I know I’m a lot more prepared. I feel like this is a good opportunity for me as ever.”

Edwards is currently ranked fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. With two victories in the first fourteen events, he has clinched his berth in the 16-driver, 10-race Chase for the Championship field.

The Chase kicks off Sept. 18 at Chicagoland Speedway. The second event of the Chase is the New England 300 on Sept. 25 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Edwards has nine top-10 finishes this year. He is one of the four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers already qualified for the Chase. Kyle Busch sits fifth in the points with three victories. Matt Kenseth is 10th, with one win and Denny Hamlin 12th with one win.

“It’s a good time to be driving a [Joe Gibbs Racing] Toyota,” Edwards said. “Everything is going well. The team is working well together. We just had our meeting this morning and it seems like we’ve got a good plan for everything coming up. But this sport can change in an instant. You can lose those advantages quickly. But the best thing about [Joe Gibbs Racing] is I feel like they’re always pushing forward.”

Since 2005 Edwards has finished in the top-five of the Sprint Cup Series standings five times. He has finished second three times (2005, 2008 and 2011). In 2011 he actually tied Tony Stewart in points, with Stewart winning the championship on a tiebreaker based on his win total for the season.

Edwards drove for Roush-Fenway Racing from 2005 to 2014 before making the move to Joe Gibbs Racing.

“We went through the battle in 2005, tied for second,” Edwards said. “In 2008 I got second I think. In 2011, second. I just feel like I’ve learned a lot through all of this. I just cannot wait for the opportunity [in the final race of the year at Homestead-Miami Speedway]. If we have a shot at the championship I feel like I’m as ready as I’ve ever been.”

Though it isn’t lost on Edwards that plenty of drivers have rolled into the chase riding the ultimate confidence only to have disaster close on them quickly during the pseudo-playoff system.

“It’s tough,” Edwards said. “It is tough. There are a thousand different ways to screw it up. I feel like I understand those pretty well. And so, I feel like I’m in a good position with the team I have – if we don’t have any failures or bad luck – I think we can be there. We can be one of the four guys at the end. As chaotic as it is and as much as it is up to chance, there’s still a lot you can do to control your destiny.”

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