One of the things you hear race-car drivers say with some regularity is, “You never know when you’ll win your last race.”
Which is absolutely true — drivers have no idea when or where they will win their last race.
For Carl Edwards, his 28th and possibly final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win may have come last November at Texas Motor Speedway, site of Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
Edwards said in January that he wasn’t going to race in 2017, and although he refused to use the “R-word” — retirement — Edwards so far has demonstrated no interest in returning to racing.
Daniel Suarez has replaced Edwards in the N0. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Camry this season.
In last year’s Texas race, Edwards won a rain-shortened, rain-delayed race that lifted him from a 32-point NASCAR playoff deficit to a spot in the championship round two weeks later at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I actually enjoyed it,” Edwards said of the long day. “The pressure was really mounting, and obviously this is what we needed to do.”
Joey Logano dominated the race, leading 178 laps. But Edwards took his only lead of the race on Lap 258 and stayed there until rain ended the race after 293 laps.
The race was scheduled to run for 500 miles and 334 laps around the 1.5-mile track.
Logano wound up second ahead of Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch.
“This is huge. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. This is cool,” Edwards said after the Texas race. “This team has really worked hard all year and man it’s just really cool.
“That’s all we said we needed was a shot and now we’re going to go to Homestead and we’re going to do what we have to do. This was a great test. We came here and knew what we had to do. We performed the way we needed to and I really believe we can do that at Homestead.”
Well, Homestead didn’t quite work out – Edwards was leading with 10 laps to go when he crashed out of the race after contact from behind with Logano.