Carl Edwards said he was wrong to do what he did after Sunday’s race at Martinsville and apologized for the incident with teammate Matt Kenseth.
That’s OK, as far as it goes. But there are still two big problems with how Edwards handled all of this.
First, he made Kenseth look bad. Edwards pushed Kenseth away from the start of a TV interview. Then, Edwards faked throwing a punch.
It doesn’t matter whether Edwards ever intended to punch Kenseth. Edwards imposed himself, physically, and fans will never let that go. Kenseth was the only one acting like an adult, of course, but in the end the court of public opinion will rule that he “backed down.”
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Second, during the NASCAR teleconference Tuesday, Edwards could have simply said, “Hey, I am sorry. I was mad and acted like a jerk. I apologize.”
Instead, he wrapped his apology inside an explanation that’s only going to give the story a much, much longer shelf life than it otherwise would have had.
Instead of keeping it to himself and Kenseth, Edwards talked about how Roush Fenway Racing lacks “team spirit.” So that brings team owner Jack Roush and the rest of the team’s drivers into it.
Edwards also said that while Kenseth hadn’t spoken two sentences to him voluntarily in six months, Kenseth served as best man at Greg Biffle’s wedding last week.
Of course, Biffle had already chimed in by saying Edwards was showing his “true colors” on a Speed network show Monday night.
So now, this is a full blown mess.
It’s going to dominate the weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, you can count on that. That absolutely will not be the media’s fault, either.
Edwards has absolutely nobody to blame for what’s coming but himself.