News & Media


Edwards misses NNS, looks forward to racing

August 10, 2012, Joe Menzer, NASCAR.com

Rain at Watkins Glen could not dampen Carl Edwards' spirits as he prepares for his first NNS race of the season. (Getty Images)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- For years, Carl Edwards was a fixture in the Nationwide Series, winning 37 of 244 career starts and the 2007 championship.

So it's almost difficult to believe that Edwards will be making his first Nationwide start of the 2012 season this Saturday in the Zippo 200 at The Glen. But it's true.

Carl Edwards

Career NNS stats / rank
 No.Rank
Win %156
Runner-ups305
Top-5s1292
Top-5 %531
Top-10s173T-4^
Top-10 %713
Poles273
Laps Led5,9764
Lead-Lap Fin.1984
Avg. Start8.83
Avg. Finish9.63


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"I'm running the Nationwide car for the first time this season, which will be pretty neat," Edwards said of the No. 60 Ford he'll drive for Roush Fenway Racing. "We've got Scott Graves as crew chief. He was the engineer last season for all of our success that we had in the Nationwide Series [when Edwards won eight races, tying Kyle Busch for most in the series]. He's really excited. ... It should be an opportunity to get some experience and get some time out on the race track before the Cup race on Sunday, so it looks like a fun weekend for us."

Edwards was hoping rain would hold off Friday -- it didn't for much of the day -- so he could take full advantage of practice time in both the Nationwide and Cup cars. Rain washed out the first Cup practice and threatened the second and final scheduled practice, as well. But the Nationwide cars, fitted with rain tires, were actually required to attempt to make at least one lap in the wet conditions Friday.

"We've tried to make the cars as similar as we can, so that I can carry over anything we learn. And maybe [Saturday's] race will be a good time to try any race-line type of things I could use for Sunday," Edwards said. "So I've got an idea of what I want to do to be the best I can be there on Sunday and hopefully it all comes together."

Edwards admitted he has missed running in the Nationwide Series this season.

"I've missed it a little more than I thought I would. It was nice to go over to the [Nationwide] garage [Friday] and see a lot of guys that I haven't seen for a while," he said. "It should be a lot of fun. I just talked to [former driver and current TV analyst] Dale Jarrett a little bit. I get to be the in-race reporter, so that will be neat to be part of the broadcast; but overall, I just miss racing with those guys on Saturdays.

"I miss the group of people that are over there in that garage and one thing I'm really excited about is getting to race with some of these guys that I haven't really raced with much. I've been watching a lot this year and watching guys that are really doing well. I'm excited to see how I stack up against them, so there's a little bit of nostalgia and a little bit of excitement racing with new folks."

Edwards said he isn't certain if he'll run more Nationwide races next season.

"We'll see how this goes and we'll see what Ford and [team co-owner] Jack [Roush] and everyone is up for, but if this goes well and if it's fun -- which I think it will be -- I think there might be more in the future," Edwards said. "We might try to work a few Nationwide races in when we feel that they'll be really beneficial and when it will work."