DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Greg Edwards always wanted to race at Langley Speedway, and judging by his recent success it is not hard to understand why he continues to feel that way.
Edwards has been going to the track since he was five years old and being familiar with the .4-mile oval has paid dividends for the Poquoson, Virginia, native.
Edwards, 42, was able to visit Victory Lane eight times this season at Langley en route to his fourth the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship. He also scored titles at the challenging speedway in 1998, 2004, and 2006.
“I grew up going to Langley and I remember watching Butch Lindley and Tommy Ellis race a lot at there and those are some good memories,” Edwards said. “My dad sponsored some cars there, but I didn’t think I would ever race cars.”
He first got his start in racing on just wheels instead of four as he took up motocross racing. After Edwards competed in the series for four seasons he decided to give go-karts a try, and the rest is history.
“I really had a good time racing motocross with my brother Donny,” Edwards said. “I started on a motorcycle when I was 10 and stayed with that until I turned 14 and we started racing the karts. I did that until we moved up to a car when I turned 16.”
Racing so close to home means something special to Edwards. Being able to stay close and be successful is something he doesn’t take for granted.
“We enjoy racing any time we have the chance and it’s extra special to be able to do it so close to home in front of our family and friends,” added Edwards who lives about 10 minutes away from Langley. “It’s a blast to be able to run well and win races against such great competition.”
The veteran driver enjoyed an impressive season as he finished with eight wins, 20 top fives and 22 top 10s in 23 starts, which was good enough to land 17th in the final Whelen All-American Series national standings.
Winning a fourth title in 16 years couldn’t be done without a strong support team around Edwards, and he feels that made the biggest difference this season in capturing his fourth trophy.
“We have a hard-working and dedicated bunch of guys that work on the crew and we wouldn’t be celebrating a championship without their help,” Edwards said. “At this level of racing it takes a lot of commitment and skill and I put my team up against anyone else’s competing at a weekly track.”
Edwards also said the sport has changed from the days of just a driver and maybe one other person helping field championship-winning cars – even at the weekly level.
“Racing has become so competitive now that one person can’t do it all anymore and we have been blessed to have some great guys on our team that are dedicated,” Edwards said. “You have to have a team working together for a common goal and we have that with this hard-working group of people.”
The team, led by crew chief Phil Goodwin, consists of Brett Huggett, Craig Brauer, Nate Matter, Mason Dunn and John McMasters. Edwards also recognized engine builder Charlie High and car builder Bobby Creech for helping him secure his fourth title.
While it is widely documented how drivers have moved up the NASCAR ladder in their career, Edwards was quick to point out the success of some of his previous crew members.
“It’s very neat to see some of the crew guys move up in NASCAR and be able to make a living doing what they love,” Edwards said. “Dave Jones used to be on my team but he has moved up and has a full-time job now working with a team. Crew guys at the weekly level often do it for the love of it or work to make sure it is something they want to do full time and it’s rewarding to know we have helped several get their career going from our team.”
Although it won’t be the first time Edwards has been recognized at the season-ending awards ceremonies, he knows having the opportunity to celebrate in Charlotte is something to remember.
“NASCAR always does a great job of honoring all of its champions during the banquet in Charlotte and that is something you don’t forget as a driver,” Edwards said. “The entire weekend is first class and I know my team and I always look forward to celebrating anytime we win and NASCAR puts on a great celebration for everyone.”
Edwards will be recognized alongside champions from each of the 58 NASCAR-sanctioned tracks at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards on Dec. 12 in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
-NASCAR IMC Release. Photo Credit: Marks Graphics/King Charles Photography.