Carl Edwards has called for his Roush Fenway teammates to work closer and better together in a bid to improve their overall performance.
Edwards started the season as a clear favorite to take this year's title but after 11 races he has yet to win a race. A number of incidents on pit road, but more a lack of speed has prevented him from being closer to the battle up front.
He was close to claiming his first win of the season at Talladega but ended up crashing in the final yards of the race while trying to fend off Brad Keselowski's charge for victory approaching the finish line.
Looking at the season thus far, Edwards sees the whole Roush Fenway team has underperformed, even if he says there's no reason to panic yet.
"We're not performing as well as we should be and we all know that," said Edwards. "We've been working really hard and not just on the racetrack – on pit road, us as drivers. We can all do better. We all know that and we're working hard.
"The good thing is that even though we aren't as great as we were at this point last season, we're still really competitive and we've just got a couple little things to fix. So we're not in panic mode, but we're definitely aware that we can be better."
Two weeks ago at Darlington, Greg Biffle made contact with Edwards sending him into a spin late in the race, probably costing him the chance of a better finish.
"There are a couple of things we need to do," Edwards added. "We need to be just a little bit faster on the racetrack. That makes everything easier, and we need to be just a little bit better on pit road, and then as teammates we can always race better together and work better together.
"That's something we can do as drivers. It's so competitive right now that a couple hundredths of a second here or there makes all the difference in the world, so we're aware of that too. We're not scrambling and we're not changing our format, we're just going to work smarter."
Edwards is currently ranked in 12th place in the driver standings and although the season is close to halfway to the series' playoff, he says that he needs some good results in order to be safely into the top-12 by the time the cut is made for those who will be fighting for the championship.
He admits that not making the Chase could happen if his current trend of finishes doesn't improve.
"It can happen," he said about missing on the fight for the championship. "We've got to run well enough and keep that bad luck away from us, so that we can go into Richmond with a cushion because if you have one blown tyre or an engine or whatever, you can't get those points back.
"Trust me, I know exactly where we are in points and I'm working hard to change it in a good way."