2011 RESULTS 1 win, 19 top fives, 26 top 10s
2012 OUTLOOK Increasing his win total, including taking a race or two in the Chase, is critical to Edwards's title hopes.
EXCEPT for failing to win one notable trophy, Edwards had a marvelously fulfilling season in 2011. He topped the standings for 21 weeks, raced to a series-best 19 top fives and had the highest average finish (4.9) in the history of the Chase. But the fact that Edwards took only one checkered flag all of last year ultimately led to his losing the Sprint Cup title to Tony Stewart, who took five in the Chase. Edwards will be a contender again as his crew chief, Bob Osborne, and all the key personnel on his number 99 team will return. For Edwards to win his first championship, he'll need to improve his speed over the closing laps of races, and he can't settle for top fives when he has a shot at the checkers—a lesson Stewart taught him last fall.