(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
Back in January, Carl Edwards stepped away from Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Racing, but apparently it wasn’t a giant step.
The former driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is still close enough to mentor his successor in the car. In fact, Edwards flew to Atlanta on Friday to offer some assistance and advice.
“He’s a great guy, very good friend,” Daniel Suarez said on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “He just asked me, ‘Hey, Daniel, do you want me to go over there? Do you think it would be helpful?’
“I said, ‘Man, to have a driver like you who has a bunch of wins here in Atlanta, it’s a big deal.’ Yeah, he’s going to be here to help me out, help the team out. It’s a team he knows very well. It’s going to be good to have him just to watch and to tell us what’s going on from his view.”
Edwards said he enjoyed helping Suarez but wasn’t sure how long he would be at the track.
“I guess just as long as they want me to be here,” Edwards told reporters in the garage on Friday. “I flew the Cessna in this morning, and I could leave at any moment. So whenever they say they’re done with me, I’ll take off…”
It was clear, though that coming to Atlanta, where Edwards collected three of his 28 career Cup victories, got the driver’s juices flowing.
“I love this place, and I miss driving while I’m standing here,” Edwards said. “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 (Joe Gibbs) and everybody for letting me make the decision I made. But it is cool coming back here and seeing everybody.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!