NASCAR: Carl Edwards walks through 'very unexpected' call

Carl Edwards had no expectation of being selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, to the point where he all but disregarded an email telling him to be ready.
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day took place last week at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, where a select panel gathered to determine which three distinguished individuals would be honored with selections into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2025.

There were 10 nominees on the Modern Era ballot and five on the Pioneer Ballot. Two were selected from the former, and one was selected from the latter.

The Modern Era ballot consisted of, in alphabetical order, Greg Biffle, Neil Bonnett, Tim Brewer, Jeff Burton, Randy Dorton, Carl Edwards, Harry Gant, Harry Hyde, Ricky Rudd, and Jack Sprague. The Pioneer Ballot consisted of, in alphabetical order, Ray Hendrick, Banjo Matthews, Ralph Moody, Larry Phillips, and Bob Welborn.

The voting panel selected Edwards, who was in his fourth year on the ballot, Rudd, who was in his eighth, and Moody, who was in his sixth, to comprise the Class of 2025.

Edwards, a 72-time NASCAR national series race winner, a 28-time Cup Series race winner, a two-time Cup Series championship runner-up, and the 2007 Busch Series champion, spoke on Thursday about just how unexpected it was to receive the news that he had been selected.

"Yeah, so it was very unexpected," Edwards told Beyond the Flag. "So much so that I, yeah, I just wasn't even – I was in the air at 4:00 p.m., when I was supposed to be by my phone, obviously. And I didn't...I thought about it that morning."

Edwards thought about it, but he didn't truly think much of it, at the time.

"Amber Wells from NASCAR, from the Hall of Fame, sent an email and said, just, ‘where will you be at 4:00 p.m., just in case?’" the fan-favorite driver continued. "I thought about it, and I thought, man, I can't build my day around that, because it's not going to happen."

Unlike the NASCAR return that many have been linking him to ever since he stepped away from the sport in 2016, it did indeed happen.

"Then I landed at about 6:00 p.m., and my wife said, ‘uh, you need to check your phone!’" Edwards explained. "I called Randy Fuller, and yeah, I was just blown away."

Though it was unexpected for the 44-year-old Columbia, Missouri native, to say the least, he knew at that point that it wasn't a case of somebody trying to pull one over on him.

"I knew Randy wouldn't mess with me like that!” he admitted. “But yeah, I was just shocked, and I still am, at how much it means to me. A lot of you have been around me a lot, you probably know me as well as anybody in the sport, but yeah, I don't know – I just wasn't expecting to feel this way. It’s very humbling."

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The NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2025 Induction Ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 7, 2025. Edwards, Rudd, and Moody make up the 15th class.