Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 26, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images for NASCAR)
"When I left, I kinda looked back ... I was driving my truck and I thought, 'Wow. I have a family.' That's pretty interesting, so it's definitely a different emotion than I've ever had. One of my buddies told me that I'm really going to love racing now, especially when she's crying a lot.
The driver was amazed at the birth of his daughter:
"I don't feel guilty having to leave. We all have jobs, and everybody has to go do their job. And, to put it in perspective, one of Kate's best friends has a baby and her husband is serving over in Afghanistan and he didn't see their baby until she was 3 months old. And he was only home for two weeks and had to leave again for six months. So, I've got a great situation relative to a lot of folks who are out there doing very important jobs."
“I had a lot of different emotions that I didn’t plan on. When she was born, it was like, ‘Wow.’ I’m focused on this baby, and you have all these emotions. Then we’re over there at the table and they were doing everything – cut the cord – and then I thought, ‘My wife is laying right over there. Is she all right?’“So then I run back over there and I’m talking to her. It was just a whole rush of things that I thought I was prepared for, but I wasn’t. And then after that just being able to sit there with Kate and Annie. I’m sure anyone that’s a parent can tell you how that feels. It’s just amazing. It’s a miracle.”
The new dad says the waiting was the hardest part and he's much calmer now that everything went well. Until he calls home to check on things:
“I just called to check on Kate, and she was eating something and was kind of choking on it a little bit. I thought something was wrong, and she was choked up about something. I about had heart failure on that. That tore me up.“She was like, ‘No, something just went down the wrong way.’ So it’s all new to me, but I feel a lot more calm now. There is a lot less anxiety because everything did go well and we’re not waiting. Waiting is the hardest part.”
New parents Matt and Katie Kenseth helped him prepare for baby with diapering lessons and such. Think all the new NASCAR dads can attract a diaper sponsor to get 'em all lined up at a changing table for a Diaper Off Challenge this fall? Edwards, Sadler, Johnson and Gordon?
eHow.com: How to Change a Baby's Diaper