So Denny Hamlin is saying there is a chance Carl Edwards returns 2018?

Photo by Harold Hinson Photography

By Yvonne Jones, Staff Writer

RICHMOND, Va. – It’s only a hunch, but Denny Hamlin thinks there is a good chance Carl Edwards returns to racing in 2018.

During media availability on Friday, Hamlin was asked to give the odds – in his opinion, that is – that his former teammate gets back in a race car next year, and he didn’t believe he had seen the last of the driver known for doing backflips after victories.

“I would just be guessing, but I would say 50 percent,” Hamlin said. “I think that Carl is a competitor. At his age, I’d find it hard to believe that he would just step away and not do it ever again.”

At 37, Edwards shockingly announced in January that he was stepping out of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. But he wouldn’t use the word ‘retirement.’

“I think him leaving the window open in his press conference to say he’s not retiring, he’s just stepping away, I think it depends. I don’t know,” Hamlin continued.

Edwards was replaced by Daniel Suarez, who won the NASCAR Xfinity Series title last year. He has been back to the track to assist with Suarez’s transition. In late January, he was in Phoenix during testing, and he returned at Atlanta Motor Speedway — with uniform in tow – in March to offer more assistance to the Mexican-born driver.

“Everybody calls it retirement,” Edwards said at AMS. “I haven’t called it retirement officially cause … and actually, I admit I brought my helmet, my driver’s suit today in case somebody needed something. But I’m having a lot of fun.”

That was only race No. 2 though. Is he still enjoying the time away?

“Has anyone found out whether he’s having a good time right now or not? “ Hamlin said jokingly on Friday. “I think that would tell the story about whether he’s interested in coming back or not.

“From what I hear from all the retired drivers, it’s awesome for like a few months – then you kind of get bored a little bit.”

 

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