Friday, August 20, 2010
Carl Edwards to run full 2011 schedule
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Carl Edwards said Friday he has committed to racing the full Nationwide Series schedule next season.
Edwards said he will drive the full season in NASCAR's second-tier series even if he's not eligible to race for the Nationwide championship.
"That's a great team I've got over there," he said. "We've got a great shop and a bunch of people that work very hard. I kind of halfway committed to doing it a year ago, these two years, so [if] NASCAR says that we can't race for driver's points, I still feel like I owe it to my guys and my sponsors and myself to follow through and do what I said I'd do."
NASCAR is currently discussing rule changes to the Nationwide Series to develop its brand. One of the proposals is making full-time Sprint Cup drivers ineligible for the title.
Edwards is in his sixth season running a full Nationwide schedule. He won the championship in 2007 and is currently second in the standings behind Brad Keselowski. Like Edwards, he's also a full-time Sprint Cup Series driver.
Edwards doesn't like NASCAR's proposal of eliminating Cup drivers from Nationwide title contention because it only really affects a small handful of drivers. Edwards and Keselowski are the only two running the full schedule this year, although Cup drivers Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard are all ranked inside the top 10 in standings despite running only partial schedules.
And, the last driver who was not racing in the Cup Series to win the Nationwide title was Martin Truex Jr. in 2005.
"I look at it as NASCAR, by saying that we can't race for drivers points, is really only hurting a couple teams -- myself and Brad's team," Edwards said. "I think we might be the only two guys who are planning on doing it again next year, anyway, so if it's good for the series, if it pacifies some complaints out there or whatever is going on and it only hurts two guys, then that's a pretty good deal for NASCAR.
"I don't know the real solution. I don't even know the real problem."