Joliet, IL (July 9, 2009) - Newman Wachs Racing driver John Edwards got behind the wheel of a slightly less-powerful machine on Wednesday. Rather than his usual 300 hp Swift 016, he hopped into a 10 hp go-kart just outside of Harrah's casino in Joliet, IL to drive in a charity race with fellow MAZDASPEED Motorsports development drivers Jason Saini and Eric Foss. The event was held as part of the Summer of Luck Celebration to promote the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda on July 25-26.

Yesterday's go-kart challenge divided participants into two groups: the professionals and the celebrities. In the professional group were the three MAZDASPEED drivers: Edwards, Saini and Foss, who both drive for Tri-Point Racing in Speed World Challenge. Also in the group was Speed World Challenge driver Brad Kubinski as well as the legendary Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal. In the celebrity group were Harrah's president Darren Van Dover, local DJ "Freak," Autobahn Founder and President Mark Basso, veteran Chicago broadcaster Paul Brian, and former Chicago Bear and Hall of Famer Dan Hampton. Each group had an individual race and then all ten drivers took to the 1/8 mile asphalt oval. There were some tight battles amongst the professionals and celebrities but ultimately John Edwards came out victorious. He won $2,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

Edwards noted, "It was a really fun time out there with everyone. Everybody was giving it their all and really fighting for their favorite charity. It was a great opportunity for all of us to get together and promote the race next month, but also for a good cause. It was a tough race but ultimately I came out on top…now let's just hope we can do the same later this month at Autobahn!"

Turn one of the Feature race.

Edwards drives the #36 MAZDASPEED/ Nuclear Clean Air Energy/ Entergy/ NEI entry for Newman Wachs Racing in the Atlantic Championship and will be racing in the team's home state later this month. He is currently 3rd in standings after winning the season-opener in Sebring, FL and finishing 2nd in Salt Lake City in May.

Next up for Edwards and the NWR team is Round 5 of the Atlantic Championship in Lime Rock, CT July 17-18 followed by Rounds 6 & 7 at Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda.

-credit: nwr