Edwards slides off track

It's not often you see somebody trying to implode his championship aspirations with a stick of dynamite and a bottle of tequila in tow.

But that's the image Carl Edwards is cultivating.

He has gone rogue. Or maybe not. Will he be back with Jack Roush next season or defect into the waiting arms of Joe Gibbs?

No one knows. Edwards isn't saying.

He is being coy and evasive, which leads most insiders to believe he is already gone. There are rumblings that Joe Gibbs Racing is offering an $8 million base salary plus a $10 million signing bonus.

The drama will continue for who knows how long. But the longer it festers, the longer Edwards is likely to kamikaze his chances of winning a Sprint Cup championship. He leads in points and will definitely make the Chase for the Championship. But what happens beyond that could be etched in controversy and chaos.

That's not just me talking.

"Whether or not he's staying or going, it's a big distraction, a lot on his mind," Jeff Gordon said before last weekend's Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. "I think it's unfortunate in some ways because I think this is the best year I've seen Carl have with a team and a car capable of winning the championship. If those things are all playing out — let's say he's going somewhere else, they're done. I just don't see them winning the championship knowing that they're leaving."

Gordon isn't implying that the folks at Roush Fenway Racing will deliberately blow up Edwards' championship hopes. But if Edwards does announce his intention to leave, it becomes the equivalent of former lovers trying to remain friends and see each other casually.

It's awkward.

"It's obvious that it's coming to a head," Roush teammate Greg Biffle said. "At some point he's going to have to say that I'm not coming back. He's not going to be able to wait until Homestead (the last race), we all know that. So Carl is a big boy, he's a man and he has to make his own decisions."


Edwards should do the honorable thing and announce his decision quickly. A lot of people think he has already made one, so it's not as if he is spending hours fretting over what to do.

Other jobs are affected by this, starting with his race team and who fills the gap if Edwards leaves.

"The whole world is waiting for Carl to make this decision," Roush said on SPEED TV.

"Everybody in management at Roush Fenway has held hands and said we're not going to let this be a distraction. We're going to try to maintain the best possible relationship and confidence of our sponsors."

As Biffle notes, Edwards is a big boy. At 6-foot-1, he is one of the tallest drivers on the circuit.

Time for him to stand up and man up and end the waiting game.


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