Kenseth doesn't understand Edwards' retirement

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Matt Kenseth has had several conversations with Carl Edwards, and none has given him any insight into why his teammate suddenly retired.

Edwards abruptly walked away from the final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing two weeks ago. Team owner Gibbs informed his drivers of Edwards' decision on a Sunday night conference call, and nothing that Edwards has said since has helped them understand.

''I called him and asked him (why) straight out, and when I hung up, it was probably less clear than before I picked (the phone) up,'' Kenseth said. ''I tried to listen to what he was saying, I tried to listen to what he wasn't saying and I didn't really come up with anything.''

Edwards came 10 laps away from winning the championship in the November season finale. A late caution erased his lead, and he wrecked on the restart to lose the title.

He has said his decision to walk away was personal and private.

Kenseth, who was teammates with Edwards at Roush Fenway Racing before Gibbs, said Edwards' decision initially surprised him. The more he's reflected on his relationship with Edwards, the more he's come to an understanding.

''Carl has always been his own guy, right?'' Kenseth said. ''He kind of does his own thing, and if he decided that's what he needed to do at the time, it doesn't shock me he actually went through with it.''

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More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org

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