Skip to content

Former NHRA Pro Stock champ Mike Edwards not at season opener, career uncertain

Feb 7, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT

Photo courtesy NHRA.com Photo courtesy NHRA.com

As the season-opening NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ Circle K Winternationals continue this weekend at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., one name is not on the entry list of drivers.

Make that one very big name.

Even though he won a series-high six races (plus two additional runner-up finishes), qualified No. 1 for 15 of last season’s 24 races, finished fourth in the standings and is recovering nicely from offseason shoulder surgery, 2009 Pro Stock champ Mike Edwards is back home in Coweta, Okla., instead of on the west coast.

Edwards shocked the NHRA world at the end of last season when he unexpectedly announced he was selling his entire racing operation, including his super-fast 2013 Chevrolet Camaro, to up and coming Texas Pro Stock racer Chris McGaha.

McGaha immediately becomes a force to be reckoned with by virtue of having Edwards’ equipment.

“I can’t wait to get out there, but it’s a little nerve-wracking because now it’s all going to be up to me,” McGaha recently told RacinToday.com. “I basically have the fastest Pro Stock car out there.

“Heck, I don’t know if anybody has ever had the chance to do something quite like this. But here I am, right where I’ve always wanted to be: driving a Chevrolet Camaro with a real chance of winning Pro Stock races.”

At the same time, however, the Pro Stock class is diminished without Edwards’ presence. McGaha tried everything he could to convince Edwards to become his crew chief, much like Edwards served as crew chief for Pro Stock racer David Nickens from 1989-91.

“Believe me, I asked Mike if he would be my crew chief,” McGaha told RacinToday.com. “We tried our hardest, but he wouldn’t do it. He was really nice about it and his exact words to me were, ‘If you want to go testing, just call me.’ But no, he isn’t going to be my crew chief.”

Although Edwards has repeatedly said he is not officially retired, at the age of 56 and without any equipment, it would appear that he very well may have raced his last NHRA national event – unless, perhaps, he is brought back as a driver for hire sometime in the future.

It will mark the first time in 20 years that Edwards has missed an NHRA national event as either a driver or crew chief.

“While we may not know what the future holds, we are confident in who holds our future,” Edwards said in In a released statement. “Lisa (his wife) and I are blessed to have made many great friendships and worked with some of the best sponsors in the sport and will cherish those relationships as we move forward.

“We are not certain how our drag racing family will be a part of that, but we put our faith in God that He will guide us in the direction we need to go.”

Edwards’ prolific career included two NHRA championships (one in Pro Stock, the other in Modified), 42 career wins (40 in Pro Stock, two in Modified), 56 No. 1 qualifying positions and 13 career top 10 season finishes.

He also holds the NHRA national elapsed time record in Pro Stock at 6.471 seconds.

Edwards said he is recovering nicely from Dec. 10 surgery that reconnected a torn rotator cuff and reconstructed his left bicep.

“Rehabilitation is moving forward,” Edwards said. “It is not fun, but it is what I am focusing on at the moment. I am on-track with the program my doctors and therapist have put me on, so that is encouraging. The part that has made it a bit easier to fight through the pain has been the well-wishes from other drivers and fans.

“All of you do not know how much that really does help. I would like to thank everyone for the many prayers and support over the last few months. It has not been an easy process to learn to lean on people just to do simple things. While I still have a long way to go in rehab, I’m making progress.

“Over the last 25 years, Lisa and I have lived our dream. We have been so very blessed to have had the opportunity to compete in drag racing and especially in Pro Stock. But the most important part is we have had the opportunity to share our faith, and that has always been the reason we have gone to the track to help kids and adults strengthen their faith.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Latest Posts
  1. Bottas unaffected by Ferrari speculation over summer break

    Aug 29, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 23:  Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Williams arrives forthe drivers' parade before the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 23, 2015 in Spa, Belgium.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Bottas had been linked with a seat at Ferrari for 2016, until the team confirmed that it would be retaining Kimi Raikkonen.

  2. 17G impact with curb cause of Maldonado’s Spa retirement

    Aug 29, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 22:  Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela and Lotus drives during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 22, 2015 in Spa, Belgium.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Lotus technical director Nick Chester reveals the cause of Maldonado’s DNF in the Belgian Grand Prix.

  3. Porsche’s no. 18 car storms to Nürburgring WEC pole

    Aug 29, 2015, 9:03 AM EDT

    © FIA WEC © FIA WEC

    Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas take Porsche to its fourth pole position of the season, edging out the sister no. 17 car.

  4. Porsche powers to 1-2 in final Nürburgring WEC practice

    Aug 29, 2015, 4:38 AM EDT

    © FIA WEC © FIA WEC

    Marc Lieb storms to the top of the timesheets in the no. 18 Porsche, heading up a 1-2 finish in FP3.

  5. Power sets the pace in Sonoma’s Friday marathon session

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:11 PM EDT

    © INDYCAR © INDYCAR

    A long day on Friday ends with Will Power on top of the timesheets.

  6. Drivers reflect on Wilson at Sonoma (VIDEO)

    Aug 28, 2015, 8:11 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Quick series of interviews and tributes flow in for Justin Wilson on site at Sonoma.

  7. NHRA: Don Schumacher Racing releases Spencer Massey effective immediately

    Aug 28, 2015, 7:16 PM EDT

    AP AP

    The 10th place driver in NHRA Top Fuel standings gets released from his contract at DSR.

  8. Karam reflective, thinking of Wilson family upon heading to Sonoma

    Aug 28, 2015, 6:40 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Sage Karam speaks with reporters Friday at Sonoma Raceway.

  9. MotoGP: Marquez, Lorenzo lead the way in British GP practice at Silverstone

    Aug 28, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    BRNO, CZECH REPUBLIC - AUGUST 14:  Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team rounds the bend during the MotoGp of Czech Republic - Free Practice at Brno Circuit on August 14, 2015 in Brno, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Marquez and Lorenzo continue their fight at the front of the MotoGP field in practice at Silverstone on Friday.

  10. Renault e.dams confirms Prost and Buemi for upcoming Formula E season

    Aug 28, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    E.Dams-Renaults Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi drives during qualifying practice at the 2015 FIA Formula E London ePrix championship at Battersea Park in London on June 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / IAN KINGTON        (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Prost and Buemi retained by the defending teams’ champion for season two.

  11. Lieb: Porsche pumped up following Le Mans success

    Aug 28, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Germany's Marc Lieb steers his Porsche 919 during the 83rd Le Mans 24-hours endurance race, on June 14, 2015 in Le Mans, western France. Fifty-six cars with 168 drivers participate on June 13 and 14 in the Le Mans 24-hours endurance race. AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANT        (Photo credit should read GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Porsche will debut a new aero kit at this weekend’s 6 Hours of Nürburgring in Germany.

  12. Bottas expected more from Williams in 2015

    Aug 28, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    SPA, BELGIUM - AUGUST 23:  Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Williams drives during the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 23, 2015 in Spa, Belgium.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Finnish driver admits Williams expected to be further ahead than it is.

  13. Audi on top once again in second Nürburgring WEC practice

    Aug 28, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT

    The Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro No7 of the Audi Sport Team Joest driven by Marcel Fassler of Switzerland, Andre Lotterer of Germany and Benoit Treluyer of France is seen in action during the first qualifying practice session of the 83rd 24-hour Le Mans endurance race, in Le Mans, western France, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. The race will begin on Saturday, June 13. (AP Photo/David Vincent) AP

    Benoit Treluyer shoots to the top of the timesheets late on in FP2.

  14. Hamilton unmoved by FIA Pole Trophy success

    Aug 28, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    xxxx during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 22, 2015 in Spa, Belgium. Getty Images

    Hamilton wrapped up the second annual FIA Pole Trophy last weekend in Belgium.

  15. Mallya targeting top-four finish for Force India in 2016

    Aug 28, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice Getty Images

    Mallya expresses his delight in Force India’s form despite having a smaller workforce and budget than many of its rivals.

  16. Button tests World RX car, following in his father’s footsteps

    Aug 28, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    © World RX © World RX

    Button’s father John raced in rallycross during the 1970s and 1980s.

  17. Preview: IndyCar will race to honor Wilson, and to close its season, at Sonoma

    Aug 28, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    AP AP

    Montoya, Rahal the two likely contenders to claim Power’s crown, as IndyCar looks for solace and a great race to end the season and ease the pain after the loss of Justin Wilson.

  18. Audi quickest in opening WEC practice at the Nürburgring

    Aug 28, 2015, 7:44 AM EDT

    <> on June 13, 2015 in Le Mans, France. Getty Images

    First blood to Audi as its battle with Porsche is rekindled on home soil.