Carl Edwards burst onto the Nextel Cup scene in 2005, winning four races including back-to-back victories at Atlanta and Texas late in the year. Edwards finished just 35 points behind series champion Tony Stewart.
Running a full slate in both the Cup and Busch series, Edwards celebrated every victory with a backflip off the door of his car. Edwards "flipped out" nine times in his busy 2005 season and finished third in the final point standings in both series.
Because he had started 13 Cup races the previous year, Edwards was not eligible for rookie of the year honors. Edwards was, however, a Busch rookie and took that award with five victories.
Edwards' numbers were consistent in both series: four wins, 13 top-fives and 18 top-10s in 36 Cup races; five wins, 15 top-fives and 21 top-10s in 34 Busch races.
The son of former Modified and Midget driver Carl "Mike" Edwards, a 13-year-old Edwards began racing Mini-Sprints in 1993. Edwards won 18 Mini-Sprint races—he has 75 total feature victories—from 1994-96, before switching to IMCA Modified dirt racing.
Edwards then began his domination of Capital Speedway in his home state of Missouri, winning rookie of the year honors in 1998 and the NASCAR sanctioned track championship for the Modified division the following year.
In 2000 Edwards went to the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series and was the Pro-Modified rookie of the year and track champion at Capital Speedway.
Edwards continued to race in the USAC and Baby Grand series until 2003, when he ran a full Truck schedule for Roush Racing. Edwards had one top-10 in seven Truck races the previous year for MB2 Motorsports, but followed that with three wins, 13 top-fives and 15 top-10s in 25 races in '03.
Edwards finished eighth in points that year and fourth in 2004. It was in August of that year when Roush inserted Edwards into the No. 99 Ford, and he finished out the Cup season with a top-five and five top-10s.
In 2005 Edwards posted his first Busch and Cup victories on consecutive March days at Atlanta.
Hometown: Columbia, Missouri
Birthday: August 15, 1979