It looks like a rough year may be behind Carl Edwards.You remember his 2012, don’t you? Miserable. Didn’t win. Raced around knowing he had lost the 2011 championship by a hair. Just one big slump.But he sits second in points right now. He’s already got one win. He’s fast again. What a relief.“The hardest part is when things aren’t going your way,” he said. “It’s very difficult when you transition from a very successful year to one that’s not so successful. We’ve all gone through that. I’ve gone through it pretty publicly a couple of times.“At that time, to me, that’s when you have to be the toughest, that’s when you have to have the most persistence and believe in yourself the most.”Edwards was speaking in a conference call with reporters this week, looking ahead to the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on Sunday night.Being in front of the media is a good sign. It usually means you’re running well. And when it’s Edwards in front of the media, it usually means good quotes.Listen to how he set the scene when he was asked if he knew Dick Trickle, the well-liked retired driver who committed suicide last week.“The first time I ever saw him, I was 16 years old,” Edwards said. “I was working on Kenny Schrader’s ARCA team in the garage at Michigan. It felt like it was 140 degrees outside. It was really, really hot. They sent me on an errand. I was walking through the Cup garage. I was really hot.“I look over, and here is this gray-haired man standing in a black fire suit with a cigarette in his hand out in the sun, leaning on the garage. I think he had a cup of coffee in the other hand. I thought right then, ‘That must be the toughest human being on earth.’”Good to have Carl back, all right.Hinch dealTexas Motor Speedway says keep an eye on James Hinchcliffe in the Indy 500 on Sunday. His finishing spot is how much a ticket to the Firestone 550 will cost you.If he wins, a front-stretch ticket to the June 8 race is $1. If he’s last, or 33rd place, it’s $33. There’s an allotment of 500 tickets in the promotion, with a maximum of four tickets per purchase, available by calling the TMS ticket office at 817-215-8500.Last year, Hinchcliffe was sixth.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez