Carl Edwards feels for teammate Matt Kenseth, focused on own title ambitions
Following NASCAR’s suspension of teammate Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards said it was business as usual at the Joe Gibbs Racing shop this week.
While the controversy has been causing a whirlwind in the news and with fans on social media, Edwards said the organization — and his team in particular — is focused of the bigger picture, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.
"Everybody is just blazing forward to win a championship," Edwards said Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. "As a group, we feel like we have a shot to win this championship. That’s what my 19 team is working on. I talked to Darian (Grubb, crew chief) a little bit about it as we were going to lunch. We have a fourth team that we started, we’ve never worked together and here we are with a shot at this, and we have fast cars and need to keep working on that."
Edwards believes the competition among the eight Chase drivers is tougher than it has ever been, and any distractions will hurt the team reach the ultimate goal.
"I feel like to go out and do what we need to do, we need to focus on being as fast as we need to be," said Edwards. "Everybody in the shop appears to me to be doing just that. They’re not looking backwards; they’re looking forward."
Out of championship contention already, Edwards’ other teammate, Denny Hamlin, showed his support of Kenseth on Thursday by tweeting a picture of him wearing a #FreeMatt T-shirt and a hat of the Green Bay Packers, Kenseth’s favorite NFL team.
While Edwards said he did not have a #FreeMatt shirt, he supports his teammate and said NASCAR sent a pretty clear message with his suspension.
"I talked to Matt a little bit. I think a lot of Matt," said Edwards. "It was a shock, the penalty, to me. I think everyone will be on pretty decent behavior because of that. If that’s how it’s going to be, we definitely have to be careful."