CONCORD, N.C. — Carl Edwards finished 12th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway picking up 132 points and sitting in seventh overall with 5,643 race points.
But the trip to Talladega in two weeks could be critical in the championship race, perhaps the last chance for Carl Edwards to get into contention.
That's tough to accept for Edwards, who is no fan of the restrictor-plate races there.
"Points should not be awarded at Talladega," Edwards said. "In a fair competition they shouldn't be because it's so random. It's just a treacherous race."
Edwards was involved in a spectacular, last-lap crash last year in which his car went airborne and nearly cleared the safety fence. He escaped uninjured, but it was a reminder of the dangers of wrecks at those speeds with cars bunched up because of the restrictor plates.
"It's such an emotional roller-coaster throughout the day, and it's just not fun when it goes like that," Edwards said.
But sitting seventh in the standings, Edwards acknowledged that a strong finish at Talladega and a wreck that takes out leader Jimmie Johnson or others could change the dynamic of the Chase.
"Man, I have a love-hate relationship with that place," Edwards said.