Edwards talks the Bristol dirt race and the current NASCAR package
Carl Edwards spent 13 years of his life in the NASCAR Cup Series collecting 28 wins of the 445 starts. He was involved in a crash in his final race of the 2016 season, then he never came back for the 2017 season.
Edwards abruptly ended his NASCAR career. He asked Joe Gibbs to let him out of his contract, then he disappeared to his farm in Missouri without much of an explanation.
These days, Edwards finds himself into jiu jitsu, farming, traveling and even sailing across the ocean. This year, Carl Edwards is on the NASCAR Hall of Fame ballot.
Hardest thing about his NASCAR career
“All of it was hard but it was just hard enough that it made it a lot of fun,” Carl Edwards reflected on his career in the sport via Race Hub.
“It was understanding the cars better. I wasn’t as good at that as I needed to be. The hardest thing though was understanding how to deal with people. Really understanding the team aspect of the sport.”
“When I first came in, I was a solitary racer. It was me and my close group of friends worked on our dirt cars. We did everything on our own, I made all the decisions. When I got to NASCAR, it took me a long time to understand that the sport was a lot bigger than just me, as Mike Helton made clear, a few times.”
“As a driver, I was a part of something bigger. Understanding how all of those pieces fit was the most difficult thing for me and the thing I carried forward the most. How to work with people to get the most out of any endeavor.”
Carl Edwards sailed across the ocean
Edwards spent 13 years at 200mph. So, where does he get his excitement from in his post-driving career. Edwards is now driving a new vehicle…
“We did two trips and it was a motorboat. First, I was way out of my league. They nicknamed me ‘Buckets’ after the first two days. All I did was throw up in a bucket.”
“Then, we put together a second trip to go from the East coast all the way to Italy. I was the captain on that trip. It was the adventure of a lifetime.”
“We swam with whales out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I fixed a cooling problem on the engine, for about a week somewhere. I don’t know where we were, an island in the Mediterranean.”
“That really happened and it was crazy.”
Bristol Dirt Race
Last week, NASCAR tackled the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track. It was the first NASCAR Cup Series race on the dirt in 50 years. It brought a lot of new eyes to the sport and also made some old ones return.
The race had the attention of Edwards, “Ok, I don’t watch a lot of racing. But, I had to watch some of that.”
“So, I watched a 6 minute clip [of practice]. Afterwards, I told my wife, ‘Boy, that looks fun. I think I could actually make it there and there might be a car for me to drive.’ I mean, it looked so neat.”
“My whole career, my favorite thing has been sliding the cars around and managing horsepower. That race, if it wasn’t any fun, I don’t want anyone to tell me that. Because, it looked like, just a blast.”
Bobby Labonte offers a modified to Carl Edwards
Bobby Labonte offers, “Saying all that, I got a modified for you if you want to drive one. Have you ever thought about doing a one off? Will your wife let you do that?”
Edwards has teased the idea of showing up and going racing, for years. However, that’s yet to happen, in anything.
Carl Edwards responds, “Yeah, she would let me, just cause it would get me out of the house.”
“I have thought about it a little bit. I miss the driving part, a lot, I miss the people, I don’t miss the schedule but something like a one-off would be a lot of fun.”
Edwards did get behind the digital wheel, “I had a chance to do some testing in the Sim for Daytona [Road Course]. That was really neat. Toward the end of my career, I really enjoyed the road courses. If I was going to do something, it would probably be on a road course.”
Edwards concluded, “Or, if NASCAR somehow changed the package. To where there was no downforce and 1,000 horsepower. I think I could probably get pretty interested in that too.”