Carl Edwards Talks Troops, Teammates And More


Heading into this weekend Beyond The Flag had the opportunity to talk with Carl Edwards as he looks to win his second consecutive Coca-Cola 600. Troops, Subway, teammates and moving to JGR were just a few of the topics that were covered.

On Sunday in Charlotte, Carl Edwards will look to win the Coca-Cola 600 for the second season in a row. Edwards already has a pair of wins in 2016 with JGR, a team that he has been with for less than two seasons. On Thursday BTF spoke with Edwards about a variety of topics, that interview can be seen below.

I am sure you have been asked this plenty of times, but what were your thoughts on how the Sprint All-Star Race unfolded last weekend?

I think there are some things that nobody foresaw happening that shook up the whole event. I haven’t had a chance to talk to NASCAR about it but I think other than those things the racing was good. I think it bodes well for the 600 and that was just a unique set of circumstances,

If NASCAR asked you what to do with the All-Star Race format, what would you do?

[laughter] Man, I don’t know. Nobody has ever come to me and asked me that. I can tell you after seeing what happened the other night I would be real careful because I don’t think anyone saw what happened after that first segment coming. I still don’t exactly understand how all of that went down, I’d leave it to the drivers council (if NASCAR came to me).

What was it like to transition from RFR to JGR last season?

It was more difficult than I thought it would be. I wasn’t prepared for the completely new environment with all of the new people and processes to learn. I was more comfortable at Roush than I thought I was, so it took me a little while to get the lay of the land (with JGR). I have had a lot of fun and I have learned a bunch. I feel the way things are done here at JGR has lead to a lot of success and I’m benefitting from it. Being the new guy on the scene, I’m really enjoying it, it’s fun.

JGR seems to present themselves as more of a team than other large NASCAR teams do. What’s the team vibe like over at JGR?

My perspective is that at this point in my career I value my teammates more than I ever have. I realize what my teammates bring and I think I’m a better teammate than I’ve ever been. It might not have seemed like it at Richmond, but we were racing hard and I think that shows how competitive we still are. Truly, I believe that Matt Kenseth, myself, Kyle and Denny and Martin Truex, we all understand how valuable we are to one another and we respect that. Matt is really (for me) the guy that helped guide me when I came over to JGR and he still does. He makes sure that we are all going in the same direction and I appreciate that. I feel like we are doing a great job of walking that line of being great teammates and being really competitive with one another and that’s really cool to be a part of.

NASCAR: Start Time, Schedule And Streaming Info For The Coca-Cola 600 From Charlotte

You mentioned Martin Truex Jr. who technically isn’t a part of JGR but you guys seem to treat him like he is a fifth car with you team. Describe that relationship.

I feel like Martin brings a lot to the table. He is an amazing racecar driver, he is really good at communicating and he is very even-keeled. He is also fast, him and Cole and the Furniture Racing crew are fast. That team, to me, has always been a really cool team. For them to be able to operate out of Colorado the way that they do. I think they bring more than just technical stuff, they really bring a neat spirit to our team, it’s cool to be around them.

Reader’s Question No. 1 – What will your Darlington paint scheme be? (Sarah W. – Orlando, FL)

I don’t know what paint scheme we are running for the Darlington race yet, but I hope it’s a good one. Last year it was our first race at Darlington, with Arris, with the No. 19 so that was about as ‘throwback’ as we could get because it was the first one. Maybe we should just run that one all of the time. I don’t know, I don’t know what Arris has up their sleeves.

Reader’s Question No. 2 – With the recent retirements in NASCAR, hopefully you still have plenty of years left in you? (Matt G. – Oakland, CA)

[laughter] I am sure some of them (NASCAR fans) are looking forward to it (my retirement), but I am having so much fun right now. I have worked towards this my entire life. Right now with JGR, Dave Rogers, I am having a really good time. I’m not thinking about it (retirement) but it’s nice for them to being it up, it makes me feel old.

On Sunday in Charlotte you’ll be in the No. 19 Subway machine. Subway is currently running a promotion where if you purchase a collectible USO cup you could win a trip to the Subway Firecracker 250 in Daytona on July 1st. Also with this promotion Subway is making a donation to the USO in support of the troops. NASCAR does so much for our troops, share with us the connection between NASCAR and the troops from your perspective.

I think that I can speak for everyone in the garage, this weekend as well as the weekend of the Subway Firecracker 250 in Daytona, they are both weekend where we will really take time to make sure we honor our military. Everyone in the garage understands that we get to do this and Coach Gibbs brings this up all of the time … there are people in the world that never even get to have one day like we (drivers) do. It’s because of our freedoms and our liberties here in this country and the people that protect that. This weekend and the weekend of the 4th it’s a really special way to do that. I’m very proud to wear the Subway colors this weekend with everything they do for the troops, the $125,000 donation (to the USO), the 5,000 meals to the troops and the countless other things that they do to show their support of our troops, it’s really an honor to be driving for them.

If you want to join Subway in supporting our troops you can do so by purchasing a special USO cup from your local Subway location. Doing so will also give you a chance to win a trip to Daytona in July for the Firecracker 250.