HAMPTON, Ga. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Carl Edwards just can't stay away from the track.
After stunningly deciding not to race in the NASCAR Cup series this season, Edwards was back in Atlanta this weekend to work with his replacement at Joe Gibbs Racing, Daniel Suarez.
"He's a great guy, a very good friend," Suarez said. "He just asked me, 'Do you want me to go over there? Do you think it would be helpful?'"
The rookie jumped at the chance.
"To have a driver like him, who has a bunch of wins here in Atlanta, it's a big deal," Suarez said. "He's here to help me out and help the team out. He knows the team very well. It's good to have him just to watch and tell us what's going on from his view."
Edwards picked up his first career Cup win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2005. Overall, three of his 28 career victories came on the 1.54-mile trioval.
(AP Photo/Ric Feld)
"You know I can't stay away from this place," he quipped.
While he's not racing this season, Edwards has made it clear he doesn't consider this to be a retirement, leaving the door open to a return at some point. He also hasn't decided on a possible political career, amid speculation he might be planning a run for the U.S. Senate in Missouri.
Edwards had nothing but praise for his replacement Suarez, who will start from the inside of the 11th row in Sunday's Cup race.
"He's a self-made guy. He's doing a great job. He really cares," Edwards said in a television interview. "To even let me be here to help him a little bit is really cool."