Eye in the Sky: Joel Edmonds celebrates first win with Aric Almirola

Throughout the 2018 season Motorsport.com will spotlight the winning spotter from various Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck series races.

Eye in the Sky: Joel Edmonds celebrates first win with Aric Almirola
Race winner Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Race winner Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Race winner Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Race winner Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life celebrates his win
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Shell Pennzoil, Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry FedEx Ground, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life, Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation, Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Cummins/Rush Truck Centers, Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's, Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life celebrates
Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Smithfield Bacon for Life
Race winner Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing

This week, Motorsport.com caught up with veteran spotter Joel Edmonds, who spots for last week’s NASCAR Cup Series race winner at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway Aric Almirola.

Edmonds, from Dobson, North Carolina, spends time on his 30-acre farm formerly owned by his grandparents in nearby Mt. Airy.

How did you get started in racing and how long have you been spotting?

In 1991 I started driving a show car and in 1992 worked for Alan Kulwicki and Jeff Gordon in 1993. In 1994 I worked as a mechanic and tire carrier for Greg Biffle. I started spotting for Scott Pruett in 1999 when I pulled a muscle in my back.

How did you team up with Aric Almirola and Stewart-Haas Racing?

I left Roush Fenway Racing in 2015 and started spotting for Brian Scott when he drove at Richard Petty Motorsports. When Brian quit racing I moved over to spotting Aric when he was driving the No. 43 car and when he moved over to Stewart Haas Racing I came with him.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job as a spotter?

I feel like we’re a lot like the crew chief in that we just want everything to go well during the race. Believe it or not, qualifying is one of the most challenging parts of the job. You have to work to make sure your driver has a good line to run. It seems like a lot of times drivers will go out at the same time in qualifying and you want to help you driver as much as you can.  

Do you spot for anyone besides Aric during a race weekend?

I also spot for Chase Briscoe when he runs the No. 98 car. It was fun to be part of the team that featured the first winner on the ROVAL. If Kevin (Harvick) drives the 98 then I spot for Cole Custer and I also spot for Ryan Sieg at times as well.

How do you help keep your drivers calm during a race?

I just try to stay as calm as I can at all times. I feel if I’m calm when I talk to Aric or any driver then it helps them stay calm. Luckily for me Aric is one of the calmest drivers in NASCAR. Especially late in a race like at Dover, I try to keep telling him everything is going to be fine. I just feel like sounding calm on the radio keeps the driver calm and that’s the best thing I can do for him during the race.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I really like it when there’s chaos on the track and I’m able to help get him through it without making contact. I also try and see things as quick as I can. Like last year at Kansas when Aric had his accident and hurt himself. I saw the sparks before Aric got there but there was nothing he could do.

Do you feel your experience helps you as a spotter with Aric?

I think it’s harder to spot for a driver back in the pack than it is running up front. You have to spot differently and you also have to race differently. Spotting a driver in 30th-place is much harder as you have traffic in front and behind you where as up front you have a different set of issues to watch.

What is something the fans might not realize a spotter goes through working each weekend?

A lot of fans might not realize how tough it is to be on the roof for up to 12 hours on a race day with the heat and elements. We often join the drivers as the only ones who can’t use the bathroom during a race.

What was a moment you remember in the spotter’s stand?

I was working in the garage when Michael Waltrip had his memorable accident at Bristol hitting the wall at the old crossover gate. However, when Mike Harmon hit the same gate I was in the spotter’s stand and I just remember all of that when it happened. I was looking directly at him when it happened.

From the editor, also read:

shares
comments
NASCAR Roundtable: Who will be eliminated at Kansas?
Previous article

NASCAR Roundtable: Who will be eliminated at Kansas?

Next article

Spencer Gallagher to step away from NASCAR competition

Spencer Gallagher to step away from NASCAR competition
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021