Ready on the Set
Once, being a successful driver in NASCAR required only a lot of seat time in the car. These days, with sponsors and teams hungry for exposure, it also calls for a lot of face time. On Oct. 10, the day after the Banquet 400 in Kansas City, Kans., Edwards was back in Atlanta for a CNN interview. Afterward he paused to chat with anchor Kyra Phillips, while his p.r. person, Sheri Hermann, looked on and a full schedule of duties--on-track and off--awaited.
From (left to right) an Office Depot visit with a young fan, to a motor-home chat with mom Nancy Sterling, to a ride with dad Carl Sr. (without phone) and pal Darryl Jones, Edwards gets plenty of support.
Ride of the Future
The technological aspects of racing have always fascinated Edwards, who began his career in 1993 at age 14, driving four-cylinder minisprints. Breezing into wind-tunnel testing at Roush Racing's facility in Mooresville, N.C., in shorts and sneakers, Edwards eyed a prototype of the Ford he'll race in the 2006 Nextel Cup while Roush engineers crunched the numbers and prepped the car, and his father stood by.
MAN IN FULL
At a Martinsville testing session, rain tried the patience of Edwards (right), who'd earlier fueled up at a Starbucks along with Casey Mears (left) and Jimmie Johnson. Back home in Mooresville, the driver revved up his fitness with some heavy metal in Roush Racing's gym and by going for a late-night run.
With fellow pilot Jones looking on, Edwards took the controls (above) of his private plane for a flight to Charlotte from Atlanta. The racer's passion for flying runs deep, from real helicopters to the radio-controlled model he and his dad built (left), which Carl soon had hovering outside his apartment. Back on the ground, Edwards piloted a different kind of chopper to Lowe's Motor Speedway.
NASCAR drivers will tell you: Sometimes you just gotta get out of that stuffy ol' stock car and get a thrill or two--usually with the aid of some other loud, fast machine. The day before the Busch Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Edwards and his dirt bike got some big air on a friend's property near Mooresville. Reverting to four wheels, Edwards qualified 18th for the race and finished a strong fourth behind Ryan Newman.