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DATE News (chronologically)
09/04/09
nassprint
Bizarre week for Carl Edwards  
Carl Edwards crashed out of the Montreal Grand-Am race on the pace lap.  He forgot in road racing you have to turn right too.
From crashing a sports car before a race even received the green flag last Saturday, then being surprised with a silver platter win on Sunday to breaking his foot while playing Frisbee on Wednesday, it's been a rather bizarre week for NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards.

The fracture is on the right foot, the one used for the gas pedal, and has the championship caliber driver on crutches for awhile. However a medical team from the University of Missouri has cleared him for driving in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series this weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Edwards' totally bizarre week began this past Saturday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal-Canada where he and fellow Sprint Cup driver Marcos Ambrose were scheduled to make their sports car racing debut in the Grand American Rolex Series. The team qualified seventh. However, prior to the start of the race, a rain shower left the road course wet and slippery. During the pre race warm up laps the Ford Dallara got away from Edwards, spun off of the track and hit the tire barriers. Despite the severity of the wreck the driver was not hurt. The same could not be said for the car and the day was over before it actually began.

By now every NASCAR fan in North America is well aware that Edwards and Ambrose were the major players in last Sunday's Nationwide Series race in Montreal. Ambrose had the race well in hand with a seemingly flawless performance. But that unraveled in the final turn of the final lap when his tires hit the rumble strips which caused him to veer wide onto the front stretch. A completely stunned Carl Edwards, who accepted the fact he was going to finish second, passed Ambrose to take the win in the final 100 feet of the race.

Last Wednesday's foot injury was equally bizarre. Edwards was taking some well deserved time off to visit family and friends in Columbia-Missouri. During the course of a Frisbee game Edwards and a friend tried to step on the Frisbee at the same time. That motion was followed by a loud popping sound coming from Edwards' right foot. There was no question regarding what had happened.

The good news here is that the fracture involves one of the smaller bones in Edwards' right foot and he anticipates no problem with driving the car in both of the Atlanta races. In fact, Edwards said he was more embarrassed about how the injury occurred than the state of the injury, The other good news is the fact that modern medical science has made great strides in the area of orthopedic support devices that greatly enhances a patient's mobility and comfort.

Edwards is a tough guy who keeps himself in great physical shape. He doesn't mind playing hurt on behalf of his team. He goes into Atlanta fifth in the Sprint Cup points with an excellent chance of clinching an official berth in the Chase For The Championship. He's currently second in the points in the Nationwide Series and, over the past two weeks, has seriously made some ground on the lead held by Kyle Busch. If ever there was a reason to play hurt this is it. By the way Edwards has a very healthy performance record at Atlanta and has a better than great chance of winning at least one, if not even both, of the races there this weekend.

But don't expect the traditional race winning back flip although I wouldn't be surprised if Edwards felt the temptation to try it. I could easily imagine him ensuring that he had some nice soft grass behind him in case he had a crash landing. I can also imagine him gingerly lifting himself to the top of his driver's door while thinking "as long as my right foot doesn't touch the ground then I can do this."

Then again I can imagine team owner Jack Roush literally running across pit road at such a velocity that it blows his famous hat one hundred feet in the air while yelling "hell no, there will be no back flips."

Carl Edwards and his team will work their way through this freak injury just fine. It could even provide the sense of challenge they will need to get them into the championship mode.

There only seems to be one unanswered question here: at what point in time did Frisbee become a contact sport? Dave Grayson

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