2012 season in the rear view: Carl Edwards

Vitals: 15th in the points standings. 0 wins, 3 top 5s, 13 top 10s. 2 DNFs.

Moment to remember: The year that many thought was Edwards' to seize started off with a flourish when he won the pole for the Daytona 500. Edwards finished that race eighth while his teammates, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle, finished first and third respectively. Oh, Daytona, how you reflected the season.

(Edwards' highest finish in 2012 was fifth. Fifth. How staggering is that?)

Moment to forget: An apparent miscommunication between Edwards and his spotter that resulted in a restart penalty at Richmond in May.

Edwards (wrongly) assumed that he was the leader of the race after a caution flag flew in the middle of green flag pit stops. However, Tony Stewart, the driver to his inside was the race leader. Stewart appeared to spin the tires, complicating matters, and Edwards went in the restart zone.

Edwards was penalized for jumping the restart in a race after leading a race high 206 laps. He finished 10th, but looking back, that was the closest that Edwards ever came to victory lane.

The wrap: There's not much more to write about Edwards' frustrating 2012 that hasn't been said before. After finishing sixth at Michigan in August, Edwards was in 12th in the points standings, 38 points outside the top 10 with three races to go before the Chase. Yeah, 38 points might have been a lot to make up on Denny Hamlin, the man who was in 10th at the time, but Edwards had previously won at Bristol and Atlanta. And there was Richmond, where he had run so well in the spring. Alas, Edwards finished 22nd, 36th (thanks to a blown engine) and 19th. No Chase was in the cards. Will it be in 2013 with a new generation race car and Jimmy Fennig, Kenseth's old crew chief, atop Edwards pit box?

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