SONOMA, Calif. – Carl Edwards came back to NASCAR this weekend, but the former Joe Gibbs Racing driver arrived with no plans to climb back behind the wheel.
“I haven’t talked to anyone and I haven’t even considered coming back,” Edwards told members of the media Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, site of Sunday’s Toyota / Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race (3 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR).
“Not right now. I think it’s pretty clear if I feel like I really want to do something then I would do it. But like I said in January, I guess I would talk to Coach (Gibbs) first and I haven’t had any conversations about that.
“I’m probably happier and more content. You … know how change is; there’s good and bad and there’s uneasiness. But, man, I’m enjoying life.”
Edwards, a finalist in the Championship Round in 2016 and the winner of 28 races in the series, stepped away from competition before the start of this season. His No. 19 Toyota fielded by JGR is now driven by Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Daniel Suarez.
Edwards was at Sonoma Raceway on behalf of sponsor Stanley.
He had one career victory at Sonoma (2014) and won the pole here last year.
“Of all the tracks to come visit, this is the toughest one for me,” he said. “I truly love this place. It’s so much fun to drive here. …
“I would love to be getting in a car and go qualify today. I love this place; love is an understatement. It’s a really, really special place for me. But it’s just like anything, there are things that are good and things that are bad. But the good for me far outweighs the bad. I was just super appreciative to get the opportunity to go do the things I do now and enjoy life.”
In addition to working on his Missouri farm, Edwards said he’s tried his hand at sailing, traveled to Hawaii and remains partnered with Cessna for whom he said “they’re helping fly some people around; I’ve done some neat flights.”
While his name continues to surface as talk about driver lineups for the 2018 season begins to heat up, Edwards said he’s been out of touch and unaware of any potential movement.
“I haven’t paid any attention to any of it,” he said. “I don’t watch much TV.”
Edwards, known for his signature backflip after each of his victories, made 445 career starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In addition to his 28 wins, he also managed 124 top-five and 220 top-10 finishes. He won 22 poles and finished second in the championship standings on two occasions.
He won the 2007 NASCAR XFINITY Series title while driving for Roush Fenway Racing.