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Carl Edwards

April 28, 2008
April 28, 2008

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April 28, 2008

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Carl Edwards

As told to Lars Anderson

NASCAR DRIVER

This is an article from the April 28, 2008 issue

The Sprint Cup's only multiple winner this year braces for Talladega

On racing at Talladega this weekend and dealing with the Big One—the multicar pileup that the track is famous for
Anything can happen there. You could be leading on the last lap and end up 35th. When you see cars sliding in front of you, you step on the brakes, then steer toward an area where you think you'll sustain the least damage. If you know you're going to be in a wreck, you have to relax and take the hits however hard they come.

On the origin of his celebratory backflip off the driver's side door of his car after each win, including three in 2008
I saw Tyler Walker do it after winning a World of Outlaws race. I thought it was cool, so I stole it. I could do a backflip since I was a kid, but I needed to make sure I didn't screw it up doing it off the car. I only practiced it one time—off my street car.

On a backflip gone awry
I busted my ass pretty bad once on the Talladega short track after I won a dirt race. But there were no TV cameras there. It was just between me and the people in the stands.

On being a substitute school teacher before becoming a full-time driver
You're not really teaching as a substitute, you're just making sure the kids don't end up in the hospital. It's tough. I have such respect for teachers after that.

On what he'd be doing if he were not a race car driver
I'd be broke, that's for sure, but I probably would have signed up for the military to become a pilot. That would be an amazing career.

PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY CHAD GRIFFITH