Ryan: The craziest turn in a Carl Edwards story, one year later

Carl Edwards isn’t entrance back.

But if he were, where would he go?

This is what has turn a strange partial of Edwards’ saga, presumably some-more overwhelming than one year ago currently when he walked into a discussion room during Joe Gibbs Racing to explain because he was walking divided from NASCAR.

Many approaching he eventually would select to lapse to a Cup Series, and he primarily left many openings for climbing behind a circle again (notably during Atlanta Motor Speedway final March).

But as a Columbia, Missouri, native’s comments in internal media telegraphed final week, a summons call of staying on his 425-acre plantation apparently outweighed racing batch cars.

And there frequency seems a trail behind to a top-flight float in NASCAR’s premier series, that was remade by a 2017 deteriorate that devalued a prerequisite of carrying a seasoned leader such as Edwards.

None of a tip teams has a float in approaching need of being filled, and any astonishing opening expected would be tabbed for someone most younger than Edwards, 38.

You could name a dozen instances final year – Ryan Blaney’s win during Pocono Raceway, Erik Jones’ anointment as inheritor to Matt Kenseth, Hendrick Motorsports’ preference of Alex Bowman and William Byron – in that that account seemed to have shifted, and it also could be attributed to many reasons – timorous unite dollars, big-ticket motorist salaries, engineering trumping experience.

But what if Edwards’ preference indeed was a rhythm indicate during that all began to change?

What if a rarely commercial and achieved star withdrawal in a primary of his career noted a impulse in that The Great Youth Movement of 2017-18 tacitly began?

What if we suspicion we were examination an finale … that indeed was a beginning?

Subscribing to this idea requires joining some dots with a healthy sip of shade and a lurch of sociology.

Edwards’ retirement didn’t directly trigger a cascading array of reactions that resolved with Byron and Bowman in Cup subsequent year.

But it did plant some seeds and yield an accelerated exam box of how a powerhouse group would hoop being bearing into a changing of a ensure during slightest a year forward of schedule.

Aside from an early deteriorate blip in 2017, Joe Gibbs Racing frequency missed a kick though Edwards, and a group financially positioned itself good for a destiny with a byproduct of a vital income dump. Suarez is creation a fragment of what Edwards did, a cost assets stretching good into a 8 figures.

Though Jones was contractually thankful to join JGR in 2018, creation a call for him to reinstate Kenseth substantially became reduction diligent given a relations fibre of a remarkable transition to Edwards.

Surely, other teams beheld as well. Groupthink is a weekly office in a Cup garage built around mimicry, though a tentacles also can extend to teams’ front offices, where prospects have soured for achieved veterans.

Imagine if Edwards wanted to lapse now and placed an hypothetical assistance wanted notice (the same approach he once advertised himself for rides in trade publications). It would review something like this:

Veteran star from a Midwest. A prolonged record of winning formula during Roush Fenway Racing and JGR. Consistent championship contender.

Sound familiar?

The reasons that Kenseth couldn’t find a float for 2018 are a same that would be confronting Edwards, who competence offer a some-more camera-friendly persona though indeed has reduction considerable on-track credentials.

This is a stream existence of Cup for stars who once could authority high salaries: Be prepared to accept a high compensate cut with a smile.

It’s because it’s tough to prognosticate a unfolding in that Edwards returns, quite when deliberation his design of reconnecting with his roots clearly has been realized.

“I’m an all-or-nothing person, infrequently to my detriment,” he told a Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. “It’s taken about a year to indeed breeze down. I’m only now apropos a crony and chairman we should be to a lot of people that we fundamentally didn’t spend a lot of time with for a prolonged time. It’s an extraordinary opportunity, and I’ve unequivocally been enjoying it.”

Good for Edwards, who is an methodical and prudent celebrity so good famous for his planning, many peers have joked about him being a survivalist “prepper.”

Maybe the startle during his sudden exit was misguided.

Edwards competence have foreseen a bigger warn was in store.

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