LAS VEGAS — 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 Feb. 24, a full week past her due date, but on a day that ensured her father could be present for her birth.
Carl Edwards races Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Kobalt Tools 500. In 11 starts at the 1.54-mile Atlanta track, Edwards has three wins, six top-five and eight top-10 finishes, according to Roush Fenway Racing.
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 last Friday — Edwards had 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."