Carl Edwards was at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday to be inducted into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame. After his induction, he spoke with the NASCAR media corps for 15 minutes.
Here are some of Edwards’ most notable comments following his first visit to a NASCAR track since June 2017.
On why he left, which continues to be a mystery for some fans: “To me, it was a really simple decision: If I didn’t care about money and I didn’t care about what anyone else thought, then what would I do? And the answer was really simple: I’d like to step away for a little while and focus on other things. That’s as simple as it is.”
On whether he might race again someday: “I do miss driving the cars, and I have a feeling something will come up that will be really fun and natural to go do, and I’ll get to drive a little more. But I’m definitely not going to sign a three-year contract to go run for a Cup championship.”
Edwards said he had a couple conversations with NASCAR team owners about returning, but “none in the last year or so.” He added: “I think everyone understands I’m not really interested in coming back and doing anything too serious right now. It’s been off my radar for a long time.”
Edwards added he enjoyed places like Sonoma for road racing and enjoyed Homestead and Atlanta due to the feeling of sliding around, which is why he might like to test on a road course or race something on dirt. Said Edwards, 39: “I don’t know how I’ll feel in a year or two. I don’t have a plan.”
On why he doesn’t pay attention to NASCAR: “I’ve been so invested in it and I’ve been so close to it that I don’t think I can follow it without wanting to participate. That would be impossible for me. I try not to pay too much attention, is the best way to put it.”
But Edwards did say he gets asked about the races when he runs into people on the street, so he’s somewhat aware of what’s going on.
So had Edwards heard about the 2019 rules package, which goes against everything he always campaigned for?
“I don’t know anything about it other than they said it would be more like restrictor-plate racing at the tracks or something…?” he said. “What I love about driving race cars is literally 950 horsepower, sliding the tires — that’s what I love. When I was in it, I always advocated for that. But at this point, I don’t think I’m in a position to really even comment on it. If that’s what everyone decides to do, that’s what they go do.”
On looking back at his career and life, Edwards has no regrets. “The real gift of racing to me was the day-in, day-out effort and the teamwork and the learning. … It’s the growth. I wouldn’t trade that (2016) Homestead race for anything. Yeah, it didn’t turn out great, but that was the best I’d performed in a race car and the best team I ever had. It was just neat.”
Since leaving NASCAR, Edwards has split his time between traveling the world — including two sailing trips across the Atlantic Ocean and a bicycle trip from Amsterdam to Cologne, Germany — and spending more time at home with his family and friends. He joked there should be a spinoff of the upcoming Racing Wives show called “Doctors’ Husbands” — which describes him — and says it would portray him cycling in the morning and doing errands in the afternoon.