Edwards: If you don't make mistakes, you're not trying.
Carl Edwards has spoken out in support of under-fire Dale Earnhardt Jr following the latter's involvement in the Daytona wreck that eliminated ten cars at last weekend's season opener.
Caught up in the incident, Edwards would have had cause to be aggrieved with Earnhardt, who tangled with Brian Vickers as both battled over a lucky dog spot. The resulting mayhem eliminated or hampered various drivers, including Edwards - most people's tip for the Sprint Cup crown - and Kyle Busch, who had been the dominant force in the first three-quarters of the 500.
However, speaking to the few journalists that decided to forego a clashing commitment with Earnhardt at the Auto Club Speedway, the #99 AFLAC Ford driver insisted that everyone is entitled to make the occasional mistake in the heat of battle.
"I think Dale Jr has a press conference at the same time [as this], and there's a little bit of a story," he laughed, answering questions about whether there should be a bigger audience for the season's title tip.
"Last week did not end up the way we wanted, but I still haven't seen the video of what happened last week, so I don't know exactly what happened in that wreck. I'm sure they're figuring that out right now, but it's racing, and there are going to be wrecks in racing, and there's going to be wrecks for all different kinds of reasons.
"I've been involved in wrecks that I had nothing to do with, and I've been involved in wrecks where I've had everything to do with. I think that we all make mistakes and that's just what happened. That's racing. So, you've just got to move on and tell everybody just to deal with it. It's part of the game."
Asked how Earnhardt Jr - not a driver known for regularly getting into trouble on track - would be feeling after ruing such a big race for so many people, Edwards admitted that it would not have been an easy week for the fan favourite.
"I'd say it never feels good," he reflected, "It's not good to wreck at all - if it's not your fault, at least you can say 'hey, I did the best I could do'. But when, in my past, I've caused a wreck, I always feel the worst. You think 'great, I'm just going to go ahead and leave and go home now'. It's not the best feeling.
"But that's just part of it. If you don't ever make mistakes, you're probably not trying hard enough."