NASCAR's baby boom is on track

Carl Edwards should be the next NASCAR driver to celebrate the birth of a child this season. Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon will follow.

Once Sunday's race started at Fontana, Calif., nothing, including the birth of his first child, was going to get Carl Edwards out of his race car until all 500 miles were done.


His jet was fueled and running by the time he got to the airport following a 13th-place finish. A few hours later he was home -- and still on standby.

As this week's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway approaches, Edwards will try most of the things that are supposed to trigger labor pains, like taking walks and eating spicy foods. Once the garage opens on Friday, Edwards will be back at work -- and on call.

Elliott Sadler drove in the Daytona 500 earlier this month knowing his wife, Amanda, was supposed to go into labor at any moment. Their son, Wyatt Herman Fritz Sadler, was born a few hours after the race and daddy was there.

"My life totally changed 100 percent when I heard him take his first breath and cry for the first time," Sadler said. "It's changed my perspective on life and my personal life and priorities of what can make me happy and what should make you happy. It's made me appreciate racing more. We knew it was going to be special; we knew it was going to be neat when he got here.

"Now I can't wait to get home to see him."

There is a baby boom in the Sprint Cup Series. Edwards should be the next driver to celebrate the birth of a child. Later, Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon will follow.

Like Sadler and Edwards, all will play a game between the need to be inside the car and the need to be at their wife's side.

"I've been carrying (a phone) around just waiting for Kate to call me," Edwards said. "We went to the doctor (last) week and they said everything just looks the same, so I guess we're just kind of hanging out."

Once Edwards gets to Las Vegas, he will have Erik Darnell standing by to fill in. When the race starts, however, the team will let him know if they get a call, but he won't get out until it's over.

As long as Edwards drives the first lap, he is considered the driver of record. That means he could change his mind and let Darnell finish the race and still receive the points toward the championship.

"I probably shouldn't admit this, but I get in the race car and I really don't think about it until I get out and the first person to ask me, 'Hey, any news on the baby?' I'm like, 'I need to check my phone.' So when I'm in the car, fortunately for me and maybe not my family, but fortunately for me that's what I think about and that's what I focus on, so that's pretty simple for me," Edwards said.



WHERE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday

TRACK DIMENSIONS: 1.5-mile quad-oval with 20-degree banking

BROADCAST: Television -- 2 p.m. Fox-Ch. 54; Radio -- 2 p.m. Performance Racing Network, Sirius Satellite Radio 128

2009 WINNER: Kyle Busch