Sprint Cup veteran gets road-racing tips from teen

Jane Miller

Carl Edwards would never call himself a road-racing expert but he's certainly a fast learner.

Edwards is starting third in today's Nationwide Series race at Mexico City behind teenage sensation Colin Braun and road-racing champion Scott Pruett.

To prepare for this race, Edwards tested recently at Virginia International Raceway with road-course expert Boris Said and Braun.

Edwards said he laid down what he thought were some good laps, only to see Braun go a second faster.

'I was embarrassed and upset,' Edwards said. 'I told Boris, ‘Man, what's he doing?' And Boris looked at me and said, ‘He's the best I've ever seen.' So I'm leaning on Colin now and he's a guy that I've gone to lately and he's agreed to help me out with my road-course racing. I think he's just unbelievable. I believe he's the guy to beat in this race.'

Edwards, a three-time winner on the Sprint Cup circuit this year, realized his limitations coming into this race.

'I don't like qualifying third,' he said. 'I want to be on the pole. But I am very aware of how good those guys are and it makes me feel really good to be able to put a lap down that's comparable to theirs and be up there. I pay attention when we're out there. … Those guys, they're experts at this. So I try to learn everything I can from them.'

And Edwards can return the favor, to Braun at least, down the road.

'Our deal is, I can lean on him for road course stuff and he's going to lean on me for the oval stuff,' he said. 'But I haven't seen him race too much on an oval. He might not need any help. I think he has a really bright future.'


Though there was some minor damage in the St. Louis area from Friday's earthquake, Gateway International Raceway was unscathed. Weekend racing programs went on as scheduled.

Oddly enough, track public relations manager Brandon Mudd noted in a press release that it was an earthquake which actually led to the racetrack being built.

A quake in 1811 originating at the New Madrid fault line changed land from the river bottom into swampland.

About 150 years later, according to Mudd, the land was dry enough for the original St. Louis Raceway Park to be built in 1967. Gateway opened 20 years later.

Gateway's first major race of the season, the NHRA O'Reilly Midwest Nationals, runs from May 2-4 at the track.


Perky ESPN broadcaster Jamie Little was the winner of the popular Pro/Celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday.

Little bested Craftsman Truck driver Mike Skinner, celebrity Daniel Goddard, celebrity William Fichtner and drag racer Tony Pedregon for the win.

Drag racer Whit Bazemore, who is on hiatus from the NHRA this year, was sixth.


You have to hand it to Scott Speed — for someone who hasn't previously raced on oval tracks, he's doing pretty well in the ARCA series.

The former Red Bull Formula One driver qualified second and finished sixth at Iowa Speedway on Saturday. He qualified fifth and finished fifth at Salem Speedway last week and qualified second but finished 39th after being caught up in an accident at Daytona.

He's now eighth in the points but the leader is Springfield's Justin Allgaier, who has 680 points to nine-time champion Frank Kimmel's 635.

Allgaier and Kimmel finished second and third, respectively, at Iowa behind winner Matt Hawkins.


Canton's Chris Windom is 14th in the national USAC Midget standings after three events.

Windom was 10th at Phoenix in February, 13th at Anderson, Ind., two weeks ago and 18th at Kenly, N.C. last weekend.

Galesburg's Aaron Fike, who has been making plenty of off-track news lately, also is running this series and is 17th after running just two races. He was ninth at Phoenix and 17th at Anderson.

Fike also is running the Silver Crown series and is 12th in points after one event.

Jane Miller is the Journal Star motorsports columnist. Write her at 1 News Plaza, Peoria, IL 61643, call (309) 686-3207 or e-mail