Pre-season title favorite Carl Edwards believes he can still win the NASCAR Sprint Cup title this year, despite remaining winless thus far.
Edwards, who finished runner up to Jimmie Johnson in the championship last season, winning nine races, has not been back to victory lane since last year's season finale at Homestead. Last week he led the most laps at Pocono but was beaten in the closing stages of the race by points leader Tony Stewart.
The Roush Fenway driver says that despite not winning for the last 14 races, he is happy with his performance this year and, following his recent good run at Pocono, he sees the potential for wins coming his way soon.
"Trust me, every single guy in this garage wants to win every race, but I've learned to base my satisfaction with a race on a performance and not on a result," said Edwards, who ranks sixth in the standings.
"I feel like, personally, I've performed very well. I feel like [crew chief] Bob [Osborne] has done a really good job and there's nothing saying we won't go win 15 races in a row. Anything can happen.
"I think we all learned that last year with the Chase, how things shook up from Richmond to Homestead, so I'm feeling pretty good actually. This is probably the best week I've had. I feel the most confident after these last couple of weeks than I have all year."
The 29-year-old believes expectations were raised too high due to his strong run for the championship last season. However, he feels no pressure to meet the pre-season hype and is adamant that not only victories, but also his consistency, can get him close to the title again this year.
"If we don't win a race this whole season, we can still win the championship by a landslide," he said. "You just go do the best you can and, like I've said before, we're victims of our own success last season.
"Everyone expects so much, but I've been through that in 2006 when everybody picked me to win the championship and I didn't win a race. So I know how it goes."
Edwards arrives to this weekend's race at Michigan as the most recent winner at the track, where he also won in 2007. The two-mile oval was the scene of his Sprint Cup debut in 2004, when he impressed by finishing 10th.