Edwards shows class and dignity in losing title

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So that’s how they got to late Sunday night, when a disappointed Edwards sat silently in Homestead’s media center watching Stewart’s championship celebration on a bank of televisions. He’d shaken Stewart’s hand, and he’d consoled crew chief Bob Osborne, who had to be devastated by the final outcome.

But Edwards himself? He didn’t pout. He didn’t scowl. And if he had himself a good cry, he most certainly didn’t do it in public.

There are those who say Edwards is so very image-conscious that he must been less than genuine. But his conduct in the hours after Sunday’s race showed just how to act with class and sportsmanship in the face of defeat.

“I told myself, I told my family, that the one thing I’m going to do is I’m going to walk back to that motorhome, win, lose or draw, and I’m going to be a good example for my kids and work hard and go be better next season,” Edwards said.

Edwards knows he can’t dwell on the Chase, and even if he did second-guess the last 10 weeks, he’d be hard-pressed to find a single thing he could have done differently. Edwards talked of taking his family to the beach on Monday, of helping Roush-Fenway celebrate Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s Nationwide title, of getting back into the gym and starting the preparations for 2012, when he’ll try again to win his first Cup title.

“At least we know that we can compete with any of these people,” Edwards said. “We can compete with a three-time champion winning half of the Chase races. We can still score as many points as them. That’s a big deal. And I know that there are a lot of tests in life and I think that the last three or four weeks have been a huge test for me and for my team mentally.

“For us to keep our confidence up, to keep our cool, and to go out and perform and do our jobs, I’m really proud and believe next year we’ll do even better.”

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