Carl Edwards will halt Nationwide run; ESPN next?

Jay Busbee
January 17, 2012

Hey, here's good news for some of the Nationwide drivers tired of getting beaten down like LSU in the national championship: Carl Edwards is leaving the Nationwide series.

Not that it matters from a standings perspective, as Edwards and other Sprint Cup drivers aren't eligible to win the Nationwide championship, but on the track, Edwards was one of the most dominant drivers in the series. He won the Nationwide owners' championship for Roush Fenway, and got that fancy trophy you see above, but in his quest to win championships in both series, he came up 0-for-2.

The question for Edwards, of course, is whether the Nationwide races helped or hurt his Cup runs. Certainly, three straight days of qualifying and racing can run you ragged, but you can learn tricks on Saturday that can help you on Sunday. Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch have all testified to that.

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"I'm hoping this lets me focus more on the Cup car, lets me be a better Cup racer by maybe having more time during the race weekend to maybe hone the setups in," Edwards told "I don't know how it will actually affect our performance but I do know my calendar is a lot more open and I'm able to breathe a little more. And I know my family and everyone will really appreciate [the open schedule]."

Another possibility is that Edwards is leaving the track for the cozy confines of the broadcast booth. The Daly Planet hinted at this late last season, as Jack Roush dropped a big hint that, in the heat of the Chase, went almost unnoticed. Edwards often drops into the broadcast booth, sometimes even during the same races from which he's crashed out, so this isn't big news.

Either way, we'll be seeing plenty of Carl Edwards this season.

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