Edwards' wife gives birth to girl
Carl Edwards fretted for two weeks about the impending birth of his first child. Would she arrive on a race weekend? Or, even worse, during an actual race?
Annie Edwards ultimately made her entrance Wednesday, a full week past her due date, but on a day that ensured her father could be present for her birth.
One day later, Edwards had to go back to work.
``When I left, I kind of looked back, I was driving my truck and I thought, 'Wow, I have a family,' `` Edwards said Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. ``That's pretty interesting. It's definitely a different emotion than I've ever had.''
Edwards' had been on a nervous baby watch since the season opened earlier this month at Daytona. Wife Kate stayed in Missouri, and although Erik Darnell was on standby the last two weeks as a possible replacement driver, Edwards was prepared to miss the birth if it occurred on a race day.
Now that he's a proud father - he eagerly showed photos of his baby girl without prompting Friday - Edwards has a clear mind to focus on Sunday's race at Las Vegas.
``There is a lot less anxiety because everything did go well and we're not waiting,'' he said. ``Waiting is the hardest part.''
Once at the track, he was reunited with Drew Blickensderfer, who was named this week crew chief of Edwards' Nationwide Series team. The two won seven of 19 Nationwide races together before Blickensderfer was promoted to Sprint Cup Series crew chief for Matt Kenseth.
That job ended last week when owner Jack Roush replaced Blickensderfer, who led Kenseth to wins the first two weeks of last season before a tremendous drop-off that led to Kenseth missing the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship for the first time since its 2004 inception.
``Jack told me there was an opportunity probably elsewhere and to keep my head up and don't get too comfortable in the R&D seat that he put me in, and probably three or four days later I got a call from Carl and Jack saying there was an opportunity,'' Blickensderfer said. ``Of course, I jumped up and down for it. I had a lot of fun with Carl ... racing the Nationwide Series. We had success and I really enjoyed it and I'd probably rank this in the top five jobs in all three series of what I'd like to have and what I'd like to do, so when the opportunity arose, I jumped to come back.''