NASCAR

Will Edwards deliver payback to Busch?

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Rea White

Rea White has been covering NASCAR full time since 1998. She has won awards from press agencies in Alabama and North Carolina and formerly served as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter.

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FONTANA, Calif.

Carl Edwards is off to the best start of his NASCAR career. He's been in contention and could have won each of the opening four Sprint Cup races this season.

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Yet, he finds himself spending much more time discussing his recent comments about Kyle Busch and the fact that he is in a contract season with Roush Fenway Racing.

The two tangled at Phoenix, and many have been expecting some sort of payback from Edwards since. After last week’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Edwards said outright that he still owed Kyle Busch.

Yet, Edwards could have taken out Busch last week as they battled for the Bristol win, but he did not.

"I have thought a lot about last week's race," he said. "I think I did the best I could. I don't think that my car was fast enough to go up there and compete for the win at the end of the race. On the restarts I was pretty good, but we were too far from the end of the race to start running into each other. It could have ended up way worse than a second-place finish."

Many fans probably didn't expect both to finish that race once Edwards got into position to battle Busch.

But Edwards looks at it in a much simpler way.

"It boils down to this," he said. "I had my shot to pass him, and I couldn't because I wasn't fast enough. When things got going, his car was just faster. I couldn't get back to him. If I could have got to him with one or two laps to go, then maybe I could have made something happen. I know that is what all the fans wanted to see.

"Trust me, nobody wanted to see it more than me. I would have loved to be in that position. As it went, I wasn't even in position to consider that."

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Perhaps he was closer to that position, though, than some might think.

"He did try, he did get into me once," Busch said. "He bumped me. But it wasn't like he tried to get into the left rear quarterpanel and spin me out at all. We raced each other hard, we raced each other clean and that was good. If Carl wants to continue saying that he still owes me one, whatever, I don't care.

"I'm racing my race and how I should be racing and racing all of my competitors and not worrying about all that stuff."

Edwards was asked why he felt like he still owed Edwards anything since Busch apologized for recent incidents.

His response?

"The deal is, I am just going to go race how I need to race,” he said. "It is nothing personal. That deal at Phoenix cost me 28 points at least, in my opinion. So, the least he can give up is one spot. I don’t know. I told him I owed him one, and he asked for me to give it back to him at the All-Star race. You never know. Maybe that is how it will go.

"This is racing, guys. You go to Bristol and are on a guy's back bumper and you have a chance and you start thinking of all the little things and all the little reasons behind everything. Really it is fine. Hopefully him and I get to race a bunch this year, and hopefully it is good, clean racing. It might get exciting. You never know."

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