|Edwards at Pocono Raceway, August 2015|
credit: Beth Reinke/Skirts & Scuffs
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards has back-flipped his way into the hearts of fans across the country as a perennial favorite in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Here are the updated Fast Facts on the 2007 Busch (now Xfinity) Series champ, driver of the No. 19 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, and soon-to-be birthday boy, originally published in Nov. 2011.
- Carl Michael Edwards II was born Aug. 15, 1979 in Columbia, MO. He is a first cousin once removed of NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader – Edwards is often referred to as “Cousin Carl” by media and fans. Before his NASCAR career took off, Edwards worked as a substitute teacher, and would hand out business cards to race teams offering his driving services.
- Edwards made his NASCAR debut in 2002, racing in the Truck Series and later in the Busch (now Xfinity) Series. In 2003, he signed on with Roush Racing (now Roush Fenway Racing) as a full-time competitor in the Truck Series, winning three races and the Rookie of the Year award. Edwards made his Cup Series debut in August 2004, replacing Jeff Burton in the vacated No. 99 for the rest of the season.
- In 2005, Edwards competed full-time in both the Cup and Busch Series. In March of that year, he became the first driver to win Cup and Busch Series races in the same weekend at Atlanta – they also happened to be his first Cup and Busch Series wins. Edwards was the 2005 Busch Series Rookie of the Year.
- In 2007, Edwards won the Busch Series title and was named Busch Series Most Popular Driver; earlier in the season, he won the Prelude to the Dream charity dirt track event at Eldora Speedway. In 2011, he won his first Sprint All-Star Race.
- After spending 12 seasons with RFR, Edwards signed with JGR for the 2015 season. Edwards struggled early in the season, but finally found his way to victory lane in May in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Edwards married the former Dr. Katherine “Kate” Downey on Jan. 3, 2009; they have two children, Anne and Michael. Away from the track, Edwards has done some acting, having appeared in the TV series 24 and The Bill Engvall Show.
- For more information on Carl Edwards, visit www.carledwards.com.