For about the 50th time since retiring, Carl Edwards has denied the rumors that he has plans to return to the NASCAR Cup Series.
Ever since Carl Edwards made the surprising decision to retire from NASCAR Cup Series competition before the 2017 season, there has been speculation about him potentially making some sort of a comeback, be it in a full-time capacity, a part-time capacity, or even just a one-off capacity.
There has arguably never been a driver whose retirement has been more challenging for fans to accept than that of the Columbia, Missouri native, who was a fan-favorite during his 12 seasons of full-time Cup Series competition.
While he hasn’t competed in more than six and a half years, there is still no shortage of rumors surrounding the 43-year-old making a comeback, especially following the introduction of the Next Gen car a year ago.
Carl Edwards has, on multiple occasions, stated that he has no plans to return to NASCAR.
But that hasn’t kept the rumors from spreading. For instance, he was linked to Trackhouse Racing Team as a potential PROJECT91 driver earlier this year after simply stating that he was looking forward to visiting their shop.
The 2023 season has, in fact, seen Edwards make a return to NASCAR, as he was one of the guest analysts brought in by Fox Sports during the race at Darlington Raceway in mid-May. He stated at the time that it was getting increasingly more difficult to stay away from the sport, which, you guessed it, rejuvenated comeback talks.
And after being away from the sport for six and a half years, it took him less than a month and a half to return to the track again. He was invited by Nashville Superspeedway this past weekend to attend his introduction as the first member the Lebanon, Tennessee oval’s “Legends Plaza.”
As expected, the possibility of a return was something he was asked about (again) and discussed (again). And he gave the same answer (again), shooting down the rumor that he is eyeing a potential return.
Here is what Edwards had to say, according to Motorsport.
"“I’m not planning on doing any [NASCAR] driving. This is the tip of the spear. These guys are so good that I would be terribly slow, and I would have to prep a lot. Seriously, that’s the truth. For me, racing is a risky sport. There’s risk involved and if I’m not committed 100 percent, I just don’t feel it’s the right thing for me to go do for fun. I’ve been paying attention. The hits are hard. They still are. That’s one of the reasons I’m not racing is because I’m aware of that.”"
That said, he is still being careful with his word choice and refuses to totally rule anything out. It’s a typical case of “never say never”.
"“But I tell you what, if [the desire] does creep in, that’s it’s something we want to go do, I promise you I’ll give it 100 percent. I’ll do the best I can. But right now, I’m not planning on anything.”"
The latter statement will inevitably keep the rumors swirling — until he once again shoots them down.