Carl Edwards expects to complete his double-duty NASCAR weekend at Atlanta, despite admitting that he has struggled with pain coming from his fractured right foot while driving his car.
The Roush Fenway driver, who fractured his right foot in a bizarre Frisbee accident on Wednesday, showed up at the track on crutches but still went through both Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series practice on Saturday.
In the second half of his first Cup session of the day, Edwards remained in the garage as his team tried to adjust the position of the throttle so that he could keep pain to a minimum while driving. Despite that, he finished sixth fastest and later he was tenth in the final practice before qualifying.
Earlier in the day he ran two Nationwide Series practice sessions, where he admittedly felt the most pain as the car requires him to keep full-throttle for longer than the Cup car, given its reduced horsepower. As far as braking, there have been no issues, he said, given that he is used to left-foot braking.
"The pain isn't that bad unless I push too hard on the pedal and, trust me, I know right when I push too hard on the pedal," said Edwards. "But I'm very fortunate. The two bones I broke, broke in a manner they said was one in a million. It could have been pretty bad, so as long as I just don't walk on it or push anything too hard, I should be all right."
Edwards is wearing a custom-made carbon insert on his right shoe in order to give him additional support so that he is able to apply force to the throttle. When he is out of the car he wears a special boot in place of a cast. The 30-year-old hopes the insert and the boot will keep him from further injuring his foot.
"If everything goes right and goes well, and I don't injure it any further, they say eight weeks is how long I have to wear that boot," Edwards said. "But I'm hoping a little bit of strength will come back. I only need about 10-20 per cent of the strength in those bones to drive like I normally do. It's just walking, running and things like that which are going to require that full eight weeks."
The former Nationwide Series champion is not considering skipping any of the remaining races in the second-tier series, where he currently runs second to Kyle Busch in the championship. However, his team-mate Matt Kenseth has been put on stand-by today in case Edwards is unable to complete the race distance on Saturday night.
Former Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil is expected to be on stand-by for him for Sunday night's Sprint Cup race.