HAMPTON, Ga. There are no distractions for Carl Edwards inside his race car.
But that's the only place he's been at peace since NASCAR officials discovered the lid from the oil tank on his No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford was missing after his victory last Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
That was the second straight victory for Edwards and it should have been a time to talk about being in first place in the Sprint Cup standings for the first time in his career and about the possibilities of making it three in a row in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Instead, he has spent most of the week answering questions about that missing lid, being docked 100 points dropping him to seventh in the standings and losing crew chief Bob Osborne to a six-week suspension.
Edwards figures he has been able to handle the situation pretty well.
"I believe the last year or two I've been hardened a lot," he said. "The only distraction is having to ... talk about it.
"I have a very simple job and that's not to make any mistakes in that race car and go as fast as I can, so that's what I keep doing. I get my joy out of doing that job well. So, for me personally, it's more of just a nuisance to have to come over here and talk about this because I know what happened and it really doesn't matter to me what other people say about it."
What other people, including a lot of competitors in the NASCAR garage, have been saying is that they believe the Roush Fenway team intentionally let the oil tank lid come off to gain an aerodynamic advantage, estimated by several crew chiefs at between 100 and 170 pounds of additional downforce.
"It's fine by me if folks want to get worked up about it," Edwards said. "Then we've got 'em right where we want 'em. We're just racing hard."
Team owner Jack Roush has consistently denied any intent to cheat.
"We're not culpable," Roush said Friday. "It was not our intent. We did not have the expectation that that thing would come off, but apparently there's enough cheaters out there that have been playing in this area that they know absolutely for sure how much it's worth and the fact that there's an advantage."
KENSETH GETS ATLANTA NATIONWIDE WIN: It wasn't pretty, but Matt Kenseth was just happy to be in a NASCAR Nationwide Series Victory Circle after nearly a year.
Kenseth passed Jeff Burton for the lead on lap 186 of Saturday's Nicorette 300, a race extended three laps beyond its scheduled 195 laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway by a late caution flag.
Kenseth, who acknowledged he didn't have the fastest car, managed to hold off Kevin Harvick by about three car-lengths in a green-white-checker shootout, winning for the first time since April 14, 2007, at Texas a stretch of 18 races.
"About time, huh?" Kenseth said, smiling. "You certainly think about getting beat at the end. That happened to us a few times last year."