Johnson and Roberts are in the Hall of Fame. Martin will be among those inducted Jan. 20. That leaves Hamlin as the winningest driver without a Cup championship, but he’s still racing. If Edwards doesn’t race again, then he’ll be the winningest driver without a Cup champion not competing.
“I am personally satisfied with my career, and I know right now you’re thinking, well, ‘you don’t have a championship,'” Edwards said. “Well, Jimmie [Johnson] has got some extras if he wants to send one my way, but truly, you guys know that I don’t race just for the trophies. This has always been a really ‑‑ this has been a neat journey for me and it’s always been something that I’ve been rewarded by the challenges.”
If he doesn’t return, he would be eligible for the Hall of Fame in three years (along with Tony Stewart, who retired after this past season). Stewart, as a three-time champion, seems assured to be a first-ballot selection. But what about Edwards?
“Give me my money back,” the Stewart-Haas Racing driver said. “I think NASCAR makes a really big mistake of fining for some stuff, especially something that happens in the car because it makes for good TV, just like fights and all that stuff. We can handle it.
“I think it’s a mistake. I might be speaking too much, but I’ve been fined a few times, and I think that it makes for good TV, and I think that we handle it out on the track ourselves.”
NASCAR has said it funnels the fine payments to the NASCAR Foundation, which supports several charitable organizations.
Patrick would prefer NASCAR avoid fining everyone but is curious about how the money gets earmarked.
“I would actually rather know what it did,” she said. “I would actually love to see like the playground that got built for it, or homeless people that got food. I would like to see actually what the money does for fines because it’s supposed to go to charity, right? So what does it really do? I would like to see that.”
Today’s Xfinity race at Auto Club Speedway: Start time, weather, TV/radio info
After four races, Xfinity Series regulars have won twice (Ryan Reed at Daytona and Justin Allgaier at Phoenix) and Cup drivers have won twice (Kyle Busch at Atlanta and Joey Logano at Las Vegas). The Xfinity Series regulars will look to take the lead in that category at Auto Club Speedway.
Here are the particulars for today’s race:
(All times are Eastern)
START: Stu Crum, COO of Service King, will give the command for drivers to start engines at 4:07 p.m. ET. The green flag is scheduled for 4:16 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 150 laps (300 miles) around the 2-mile oval.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Xfinity garage opens at 10 a.m. The drivers meeting is at 2:15 p.m. Driver introductions are at 3:35 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Karen Waldrup will perform the Anthem at 4:01 p.m.
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Its coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at mrn.com. MRN’s coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 63 degrees at race time with a 7 percent chance of rain at the start of the race.
LAST YEAR:Austin Dillon took the lead on a wild final lap and went on to win. Kyle Busch led and cut a tire. Daniel Suarez took the lead but ran out of fuel. Busch managed to retake the lead. Dillon got by Busch for the lead in Turn 4 after hitting the wall. Busch finished second and Darrell Wallace Jr. was third.