Carl Edwards decides against 2012 Nationwide schedule, headed to ESPN?

This win at Texas was one of Edwards' 37 Nationwide Series wins in his career.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Carl Edwards has decided to bow out of the Nationwide Series in 2012. After seven years in the series with Roush Fenway Racing, including claiming the 2005 Rookie of the Year along with the 2007 Busch Series title, Edwards is shifting his focus to the goal of clenching the Sprint Cup trophy this year.

The 2011 Sprint Cup championship ended in a tie between Edwards and Tony Stewart, but Edwards lost by virtue of the tiebreaker, as Stewart had more wins last season.

In deciding not to run Nationwide, Edwards' sole focus will now be on the Sprint Cup championship.

"The way we're approaching this season is, I'm not committing to any races right now," Edwards said in a report on "And as the season goes, if I decide I'm just a nervous ball of energy on Saturdays and I can't function without going and racing -- because that might be the case -- then we'll work to try to go (Nationwide) racing."

NASCAR’s 2011 rule change stipulating that drivers only compete for points in one series came too late for Edwards and RFR, as sponsorship was already in place for the season and commitments were made.

"Once they said we could not run for the championship, I had already committed and Roush and the sponsors had already committed to running the full season," Edwards said, "so we stuck with it and we did it. But to me, that was really, in my mind, my last real go at it for the whole season."

Edwards' Nationwide Series career wraps up with 37 wins, 129 top-five and 173 top-10 finishes in 244 races.

This may not be the last we see of Edwards in the Nationwide Series. Rumors persist that he will join ESPN in the announcer’s booth this season. No official announcement has been made yet, but as The Daly Planet reported last September, a deal is in the works for Edwards. Stay tuned - if Edwards does join ESPN, that means there maybe some shuffling around of the ESPN crew.  
Carl Edwards decides against 2012 Nationwide schedule, headed to ESPN? Carl Edwards decides against 2012 Nationwide schedule, headed to ESPN? Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, January 15, 2012 Rating: 5