Carl Edwards Visits Sonoma but He Isn’t Coming Back

Photo courtesy of Toyota Racing

By Jerry Jordan, Editor
SONOMA, Ca. – He’s not coming back, so stop asking.

Making an appearance at Sonoma Raceway as part of a previous commitment for Stanley Tools, Carl Edwards shot down questions and speculation that he was contemplating a return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It’s one of only a few times Edwards has been at the racetrack since announcing, in January, that he was hanging up his helmet. But it’s probably somewhere near the 1,000th time he has denied he is coming back.

“I’ve been talking to a bunch of people and weighing my options, no, no. I am just kidding,” Edwards said, during an impromptu meeting with members of the media. “Not at all. I haven’t talked to anyone and I haven’t even considered coming back. Not right now. I think it is pretty clear if I feel like I really want to do something then I would do it. But like I said in January I would talk to coach (Joe Gibbs) first and I haven’t had any conversations about that.”

Edwards explained that he does miss some aspects of racing in NASCAR’s top series but it’s more to do with the people than with driving a racecar. He also said that he reached out to Gibbs to express his gratitude for allowing him to race.

“I do miss a lot of the people,” Edwards said. “I wrote Joe Gibbs a note the other day just thanking him for the opportunity. It’s really cool, I feel like the opportunity to do the racing for so long was huge and the opportunity to be able to step away when I felt like I wanted to and I think Dale Jr. put it best when he said, ‘on his terms’ to be able to do that is just a blessing. I am just really appreciative and having fun.

“Probably happier and more content. You guys know how change is. You make a change and there is always good and bad and there is uneasiness but man I am really enjoying life and that’s good.”

For those wondering what Edwards doe sin his off-time, he is still behind the wheel … of a tractor.
“I have been having a lot of fun, spent a lot of time in the New Holland for about a month, holy smokes, that was fun,” he said. “Now, that we have the crops in the ground, which I don’t know, I was probably better to stay away because those guys are about ready to kill me being around helping but now that we have that out of the way we are going to do a little bit of travelling.

“We went down to the Virgin Islands and then we went to sailing school in Florida and then we were just in Maui for the last week and went surfing with the Boobie Shack guys, it was awesome. So, yeah, I spent a little time at the ocean and have to figure out how to get a boat and start all of it. I don’t know, that is just on my list of stuff. I got to go do a little bit of sailing, always wanted to do that.”

Edwards did confess that he hasn’t lost his competitiveness or the desire to drive. He just isn’t interested in NASCAR, right now, and isn’t sure if he will ever be again. But he would like to drive in a Global Rally Cross if it could be worked out. It is something he feels like would be fun to try.

“That’s something when I am ready to drive again, that would something that would be really fun to just go do a test or something like. I like sliding cars around sideways and tons of horsepower and that’s what makes this place (Sonoma Raceway) so fun. But no plans. No, I don’t have any sort of plans. You know, nothing right now.”

Despite the fact there are a number of rides coming open, including the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Edwards said he hasn’t been keeping up with who is driving what, where or when. He also admitted there may be a learning curve if he were to get back behind the wheel of a Cup car and he hasn’t been watching races on TV. Edwards said he got a briefing on a few key issues in the sport, like the fact that Kyle Larson was leading the points. He thought that was cool to see a young talented driver at the top of the board.

You could hear a little bit of shakiness in Edwards’ voice as he reflected on being in Sonoma. He explained this was one of his favorite places to run because it was so fun and that the track is special to him. So much so, that he joked he wouldn’t mid turning a few qualifying laps.

“I would to be getting in the car and go qualify today, I love this place,” he said. “I mean love is an understatement. This is a really, really special place for me but it is just like anything. There are things that are good and things that are bad but the good far outweighs the bad. Like I said, I am super appreciative to get the opportunity to go do the things I am doing now and to enjoy life.”

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