- August 15, 1979
- United States
- Not Active
Carl Edwards is an American retired stock car driver who was active in NASCAR between 2002 and 2016. He recorded 750 starts in all three NASCAR national divisions, winning 28 times in the Cup Series, 38 times in the Busch/Nationwide Series and six times in the Truck Series.
He won the Rookie of the Year awards in 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season and then in 2005 Busch Series season. In 2007, he became Busch Series champion.
Carl Michael Edwards II was born on August 15, 1979 in Columbia, Missouri. After he has graduated from high school, he went to college to study engineering, but after three semesters Carl realized that it was not for him and turned attention to the racing.
Start of the NASCAR Series career with Roush Racing
In 2002, Edwards debuted in NASCAR, driving in four Craftsman Truck Series races. His best result was 8th position at Kansas, but also drove one race in the Nationwide Series. Those performance were good enough to secure him a full-time deal with Roush Racing in Craftsman Truck Series for the 2003 campaign.
In his first complete season in NASCAR, Edwards was impressive. He won three races, finished second on four occasions and took 8th place at the end of the year. He won the Rookie of the Year award and announced that will be more to come from him.
Double win at Atlanta Motor Speedway
During the season of 2004, Carl Edwards again scored three wins and drove in more consistent form what brought him 4th place in the Truck series. In the same time, he debuted in Nextel Cup Series, driving in 14 races late in the season and again impressed many after he has finished 3rd at Atlanta, adding four Top 10s.
For the 2005 campaign, Edwards had a busy schedule as he has competed for the full-time in both Nextel and Busch series. Progress continued and Carl managed to finish 3rd overall in both. In Nextel Cup, Edwards scored four wins while in Busch Series he had five wins on his account. Especially impressive Edwards was during the first weekend in Atlanta when he has won both races. Interestingly, he became the first driver in the history of NACAR which scored his maiden triumphs in both Nextel and Busch Series during the same weekend. At the same time, he became the 11th driver in history who has won races in all of three top NASCAR divisions.
NASCAR Busch Series champion
Carl continued to compete in both Busch and Nextel Cup in 2006. While in the Sprint Cup struggled to keep the form from the previous season, Edwards in Busch Series continued with a stream of good results. He scored four wins and finished as a vice-champion, losing to Kevin Harvick.
Edwards’ team was renamed to Roush Fenway Racing in 2007 but that changed nothing in Carl’s plans. He was still driving in both Nextel and Busch series and improved from the previous campaign. Edwards won the title in Busch Series two races before the end of the season after he has won four races that year. In the Nextel Cup, Carl broke his winless streak of 52 races, won three races and finished 9th in the championship.
Runner-up in both Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series
In 2008, Carl Edwards failed in an attempt to defend his Busch, now the Nationwide, Series crown. He finished as a runner-up even after he has won seven races what wasn't enough to be in front of Clint Bowyer who won only one race that year.
The same year, unlucky Edwards was a vice-champion in Sprint Cup Series, too. He had nine race victories on his account but that wasn’t enough to beat Jimmie Johnson. In the middle of the year, Edwards announced that he has signed a new long-term contract with Roush Fenway Racing, with an aim to compete in both Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.
He couldn’t win a race in 2009 Sprint Cup but had (only) three podium finishes. Before the start of the year, he was considered as one of title contenders for the title, but could not achieve better than 11th position. Much better results Carl scored in Nationwide Series in which he had five wins but he again needed a bit of luck. Edwards again was vice-champion, this time losing to Kyle Busch by 210 points.
Video - Carl Edwards explains his backflip
In 2010, for the third time in a row, Carl Edwards finished as Nationwide Series runner-up. He won four races that year, had eight podiums but this time lost championship battle to Brad Keselowski. He won the first ever Nationwide series race at Road America what is one of the best-remembered achievements from that year. In Sprint Cup Series results were better than in the year before. Edwards won the final two races of the season eventually finishing 4th in the final standings. Victory at Phoenix in the penultimate race of the year was his first Sprint Cup triumph after 72 races.
Losing the Sprint Cup title in a tiebreak
The season of 2011 was the last in Nationwide Series for Edwards and was his best one, even after he was ineligible for the championship points. Anyway, he won career-high eight races driving a Ford #60 and helped his team to win the Owners’ championship.
In the Sprint Cup, he was a title contender until the very last moment of the season, even after he has won only one race. Unfortunately, he lost the title in the last race of the season at Homestead to Tony Stewart in a tiebreak.
Falling out of the Top 10
A narrow loss in the championship battle in the previous year had a bad effect on Edwards who competed only in Sprint Cup. However, the results were far below the expectations. Carl not only failed to win a race but he also was unable to score a single Top 3 finish. That’s why it wasn’t a surprise when Edwards took only 15th place what is still Carl’s worst result in the NASCAR career.
Edwards broke a winless string in 2013. He won the race at Phoenix, later in the season won the race at Richmond and finished 3rd at Texas Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway. Despite improved results progress in the final standings wasn’t significant and Carl took only the 13th place at the end of the year.
Move to Joe Gibbs Racing
The season of 2014 was Carl’s last with Roush Fenway. Edwards announced that he will leave the team but couldn’t say where he will continue his career. In his last year behind a wheel of Ford, he again scored two wins and was 9th overall. In August, he confirmed rumours that he will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing team from 2015.
Five wins in two last seasons
His first year in Toyota was filled with ups and downs. The start of the season was relatively poor, but throughout the year, his results improved. Edwards again won two races, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte and Southern 500 at Darlington. At the end, Edwards took 5th position in the championship what was a good result considering the fact that was his first year with a new team and new car.
In 2016, what was his last season before retirement, Edwards added three more Cup Series wins to his account. In the regular season, he won the Food Coty 500 at Bristol and Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond. Third win came during the Playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway. He was one of four championship contenders at season's finale, where he crashed out and finished fourth in the final standings.
Carl Edwards is one of the most popular NASCAR drivers and because of that, he appeared in many TV commercials by the various brands. He is dedicated to keeping his body fit and is known as a long distance runner and biking enthusiast.
Since 2009 he is married with Katherine and the couple has two children.