Carl Edwards was back at a NASCAR track on Friday for the second time this year, on hand at Atlanta Motor Speedway at the request of his successor in the No. 19 car, Daniel Suarez.
Edwards said he watched the first part of the Daytona 500, but skipped the rest once the field started wrecking. He didn’t miss that part of it, he said.
But standing in the infield of an Atlanta track where he won three times, Edwards said, “I miss driving” — at least for a day.
Still, Edwards said he was “going to try really hard to stick to my plan, step away and make sure I get my perspective right.” He said he was “certain” he wouldn’t take any full-time offers at this time and was only in attendance because he was asked.
“I’m really, really grateful to have made the decision I made,” he said. “I’m having a lot of fun. Everybody calls it retirement; I haven’t called it retirement officially.
“I admit I brought my helmet and driver suit today, just in case somebody needed something. But I’m having a lot of fun. I’m just so grateful to Coach (Gibbs) and everybody for letting me make the decision I made. But it is cool coming back here and seeing everybody.”
Edwards also attended the Phoenix test to help Suarez in January and openly addressed rumors about his departure. He took another shot at them Friday.
“I could have messed with you guys somehow on the rumors and stuff,” he said. “Carlos (Slim) pays me a million dollars a race to come hang out. Penske wants me to spy on the Toyotas.”
“No, it’s pretty cool just to be here (because) they want me here,” he said.