Phoenix: Carl Edwards - NASCAR spotlight

Keep on trucking -- Edwards thriving on double duty DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2004) -- It's been a whirlwind for Carl Edwards (No. 99 Roush Racing Ford) since mid-August -- a surfeit of planes, trains and automobiles as he hops between the ...

Keep on trucking -- Edwards thriving on double duty

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2004) -- It's been a whirlwind for Carl Edwards (No. 99 Roush Racing Ford) since mid-August -- a surfeit of planes, trains and automobiles as he hops between the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Okay, so Edwards hasn't ridden any rails in this era of jet travel, but he's mastered time zones, crazy schedules and racing cars and trucks. In his second full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Edwards also is finishing 2004 in owner Jack Roush's No. 99 entry in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. He'll concentrate on that ride in 2005, but for now, Edwards is contending for Roush Racing's second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title, plus adjusting to a car.

"I'm learning when to race really hard and when to not ask too much, and I think that's what it takes to be a good points racer," said Edwards, a 25-year-old native of Columbia, Mo. "As long as I'm driving a race car, I think it's a positive thing to pull double duty at the end of the season."

Double-dipping wasn't in Edwards' original 2004 plans. Tapped to succeed Jeff Burton (No. 30 America Online Chevrolet) in the No. 99 when Burton joined Richard Childress Racing in August, Edwards suddenly found himself on an accelerated learning curve.

But clearly, the former substitute teacher has paid attention; Edwards notched his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series top-five effort last week at Atlanta, finishing third. Had he pulled off the upset victory, the athletic Edwards would have back flipped off his Ford Taurus -- a trademark maneuver each time he wins in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

"It would be hard to stop me," Edwards said. "That would be neat."

This week's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tripleheader at Phoenix will allow Edwards to sprint between garages, not coasts. He sits fourth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck standings, and has four top-10 finishes in 11 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events. Following Phoenix, two races remain for each of the three NASCAR national series, at Darlington and Homestead, and Edwards is grateful for the short commutes.

"I'm really looking forward to the last three races because getting laps at the same place all weekend can only be a positive," he said.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Carl Edwards , Jack Roush
Teams Richard Childress Racing