Carl Edwards forgot what it was like. Saturday morning the former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver walked into the ballroom of the TMS Speedway Club to cheers. Many of which were coming from fans who were wearing gear from his days in NASCAR.
“I didn’t expect that at all. And then to have people here wearing Carl Edwards gear – I didn’t expect that,” said Edwards, a 39-year-old native of Columbia, Mo.
Edwards made 24 NASCAR Cup Series starts at TMS from 2005 to 2016 and led 691 total laps on the 1.5-mile oval.
“The more I’m away from the sport there’s two things that are clear that I miss – I definitely miss driving the car,” Edwards said. “Just sliding a car sideways is a blast. And I miss the people. This is really cool. It means a lot for (TMS President) Eddie Gossage to have me back here just so I can say ‘hi’ to a lot of folks. Never thought I’d be so happy to see (NASCAR executive) Mike Helton again. Just cool.”
Since leaving the sport at the start of the 2017 season, Edwards has sailed across the Atlantic and travel the world while also devoting more time to his family.
“It’s been a really great two years. I’ve had a lot of fun,” said Edwards, whose career featured stints with Roush Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing and gave him 28 Cup wins, 38 Xfinity wins along with a championship and 6 Truck series wins.
Edwards said he has had “a couple conversations with people” about racing again, but “none in the last year or so.”
However, he didn’t shut the door on never returning for a few races.
“I think everyone pretty much understands I’m not interested in coming back and doing anything too serious right now. It’s been off my radar for a long time,” Edwards said. “I do miss driving the cars. I have a feeling something will come up that’ll be natural to do and I get to drive a little more. But definitely I’m not going to go sign up a three-year contract to run for a Cup championship or something like that. Not right now.”
The driver who celebrated each of his NASCAR victories with a backflip off the door of his race car politely declined to do a backflip off the stage Saturday.