Although there’s been 19 million articles written about Carl Edwards over the past few days, I figured I may as well throw one onto the growing heap since I’m feeling a little melan”carl”y.
You know how everyone loves to hate drivers? Not a “eat ___ and die” kind of hate, more of a competition calibre hate. The only driver who matters is yours. That kind of hate.
If you’ve been around the sport a few years, you’ve experienced driver loss of one kind or another. Be it an injury or worse, the loss of a ride for financial/sponsorship reasons, and then just good ‘ole down home rockin’ chair retirement.
At this time, nobody really knows precisely the situation that led to Carl Edwards “stepping away from NASCAR” and quite frankly it really is none of our business. The man made himself more than available to fans and media and of course did so much for people, most of which we’ll never hear about. It’s all that stuff that defines a person’s character.
Carl’s character should also not be challenged by those who believe there’s some kind of “deal” being cooked up elsewhere. Why can’t we just take his statement at face value and respect his reasons? There doesn’t have to be some underlying deal or problem for someone to change their life path. Sometimes people change over time….. maybe Carl’s priorities changed.
This week on Facebook, I posted a cartoon I did back in March 2005 after Carl Edwards won the Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta. It was his first Nextel Cup win. The cartoon shows him doing his signature backflip and the scorecards showing 10, 10, 10 etc… except for the one that displayed 99, his car number. It seems like an eternity ago as much as it seems like yesterday.
It’s a beautiful thing that Carl Edwards was able to control his own destiny with the decision he made and whatever lays ahead for him, it’s no doubt he’ll tackle with the same passion he did in NASCAR. Brooks and Dunn had a song years ago called “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” (see video). Instead of hating drivers that aren’t “yours”, appreciate them. Appreciate the fact that they make your driver work harder and keep the sport we all love rolling.
We’re gonna miss you Carl Edwards.