Carl Edwards addresses Senate rumors

Retired NASCAR driver Carl Edwards says that he currently does not have an “active campaign” for Missouri Senate.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R) is retiring at the end of his term in 2022 and Edwards has been mentioned as a possibility to run for the open senate seat in the Republican primary. Edwards told the Kansas City Star in an interview published Friday that “there might be a day” when he gets into politics. 

I don’t have an active campaign going on. But I do believe in America, and I really do believe in the founding principles and individual freedom and liberty and sustainability of our way of life. There might be a day when I’m able to help with that. I’ve told people my views and that I care. That’s why my name gets brought up. I care about America.

That’s an answer similar to the one Edwards gave ahead of the 2018 Senate election in Missouri. Sen. Josh Hawley (R) beat incumbent Claire McCaskill (D) in that midterm election. Edwards was floated as a Senate candidate ahead of Hawley’s win and ultimately never got into the race. 

If Edwards did run for Senate in 2022 he’d be a part of a crowded GOP primary field. Former Gov. Eric Greitens has already announced his candidacy and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is also running. Greitens resigned as Missouri’s governor in 2018 after he had an affair and was charged with a felony for the use of a donor list from a charity. That felony charge was dropped after his resignation. 

Carl Edwards, 41, retired from NASCAR after the 2016 season. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Edwards has no regrets leaving NASCAR

Edwards abruptly retired from NASCAR after the 2016 season while he was in the middle of a multi-year contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards was a restart away from the 2017 Cup Series title in the final race of the season when he was involved in a restart crash with Joey Logano that paved the way for Jimmie Johnson to win his seventh and final championship. 

Edwards, 41, won 28 races over 445 Cup Series starts and finished in the top five of the points standings on six occasions. He was second in 2011 when he lost the title to Tony Stewart on a tiebreaker after Stewart won the final race of the season. That 2011 championship race between Stewart and Edwards is seen by many as the inspiration for NASCAR’s current winner-take-all championship race format that began in 2014.

The 2007 Xfinity Series champion said in the interview that he didn’t regret leaving NASCAR when he did, and admitted that racing was a risky endeavor when it came to head injuries. Edwards’ retirement came after a season where Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed 18 races because of concussions. Junior’s final season was in 2017.

Yeah, there’s a risk to it. It’s a risky sport, and we also learned a lot more lately about risks that aren’t so clear … it seems that any kind of contact sport over time, you can have lasting damage, cognitive issues. Once you add up the acute risks of racing with those risks, plus I wanted to do other things. I haven’t regretted it for one minute.

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