Edwards crew chief: NASCAR fans "don't want to see team orders"

Dave Rogers, crew chief for Carl Edwards, said whether or not NASCAR fans agree with Carl Edwards’ bump-and-run of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to win Sunday’s race at Richmond, it was still a “great day for the sport.”

Edwards crew chief: NASCAR fans "don't want to see team orders"
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota race winner
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota race winner
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota race winner
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
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Why so? Because Rogers said there is no better proof that “team orders” play no role in NASCAR competition when a win is on the line.

“If we look at the big picture, today was a great day for NASCAR. Our fans don’t want to see teammate orders,” Rogers said following Edwards’ victory. “They don’t deserve teammates to fall in line. They deserve good, hard racing.”

As Sunday’s 400-lap race drew to a close, reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch had a slight advantage over Edwards. In Turn 3 of the final lap, Edwards nudged Busch to get past him and claim the victory, his second consecutive.

Both Busch and Edwards were already qualified for the championship Chase, so for all intents and purposes, the only thing on the line was the win.

No team orders

“I think today was a great day for the sport. It stinks that we had to move a teammate,” Rogers said. “I’m sure Adam (Stevens, Edwards’ crew chief) and I will talk about it, and Carl and Kyle will talk about it. But I think it would be very disappointing to our fans if Joe (Gibbs, team owner) imposed a team order and told us, ‘Hey, have a parade instead of a race.’

“There’s going to be plenty of days that (Busch) is faster than us and they’ll probably get to our back bumper and move us. We’ll go down to Victory Lane, shake their hands, tell them, ‘Good job.’

“That’s just a testament to Joe Gibbs Racing, allowing us to put ourselves in that position.”

Gibbs said there was no “game plan” to follow to help heal any rift between Busch and Edwards moving forward.

“What you do is you start out and work your way through it. That’s what we’ll do,” he said. “So, you know, it’s a tough thing because it’s certainly painful for one side. You’re on such a high with the other side.

“It’s a tough thing.”

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