Carl Edwards has vowed to support his Roush Fenway teammates during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase after missing the playoff series cut last Saturday at Richmond.
The 2011 Sprint Cup series runner-up needed a win heading into the final pre-Chase race at Richmond in order to have a shot at contending for the title, but a distant 17th-place finish put an end to his championship hopes for this year.
Despite the disappointment of missing out – something Edwards attributes to missing too many points-scoring opportunities across the season – he pledged to help teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth over the Chase races.
"This isn't about one race," said Edwards. "It is 26 races and we just let too many points get away for a bunch of different reasons. There was a lot of luck involved and everyone tried really hard.
"This is the fastest we have been the last six weeks all year and I am proud of everyone for rallying around [crew chiefs] Chad [Norris] and Bob [Osborne] [and] for making the best effort we could. We will just go try to build the best team we can for next year and try to make sure a Ford wins this championship."
While Edwards will have to wait until 2013 to get another shot at the title, his teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth will both be in championship contention during the decisive final 10 weeks of the season.
Asked about his role in the Chase, Edwards said he would do what he could to help, pledging: "Just to be the best teammate I can be and to help them develop any setups they can and help them during practice. There isn't much I can do on the race track once the race starts, but before the race starts I can help."
Biffle starts the Chase as the fifth seed, with Kenseth three spots back in eighth.