It took Kenny Edwards a while, but he is finally venturing into the family business.
The younger brother of NASCAR star and Columbia native Carl Edwards will compete in his first race Saturday night at 24 Raceway, just east of Moberly.
His big brother is planning to be on hand.
Carl Edwards said he is set to fly in fellow Rousch Racing driver Mark Martin’s jet to Moberly for the race. He said he should arrive at the track between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday then, after watching his brother, return to Martinsville, Va., in time for the Advance Auto Parts 500 race Sunday.
Kenny Edwards, 22, will drive a Chevrolet Cavalier Hornet car in the feature race on the dirt track at Moberly. Jerry Milnes, co-owner of 24 Raceway, said it would start around 8:30 or 9 p.m.
“There’s kind of a conflict there,” Kenny Edwards joked. “Since Carl drives Fords.”
Carl Edwards, 26, has made a mark on the NASCAR circuit in recent weeks.
On the weekend of March 19-20, he became the first NASCAR driver to win his first Busch and Nextel Cup Series races on consecutive days.
He hasn’t forgotten his roots though.
“There’s two reasons for coming,” Carl Edwards said. “The biggest is to see my brother and just be there to support him, no matter how he does.
“But there’s being back at that track, too. We had a lot of luck there, and I’m really pumped to be there.”
Kenny Edwards sells his brother’s merchandise at IB Nuts & Fruit Too in Columbia, where he works. One day, he hopes his paraphernalia can be displayed alongside it.
“My ultimate goal is to do what my brother’s doing,” Kenny Edwards said.
He admits, though, he has had a late start in racing. He said it took years of his brother telling him that racing was easy to convince him.
When their father, Carl Edwards, Sr., a former racer, was helping Carl Edwards build a car as a teenager, Kenny Edwards looked on.
His interests leaned towards team sports.
“My whole life I’ve kind of driven go-karts and ridden four-wheelers,” Kenny Edwards said. “Just doing this will teach me a lot about set-ups and other things.”
He said he hopes to one day be involved with racing in some capacity, even if it isn’t as a driver.
“I have one of the best teachers at my disposal,” he said.