You know, we watch these race-car drivers every weekend, admiring their strategic acumen and their superhuman endurance and their otherwordly reflexes, so every once in awhile it's nice to learn that they can be just as absentminded as the rest of us.
On Friday, Carl Edwards was in Michigan practicing for Sunday's Cup race. On Saturday, he was scheduled to be in Canada for the Nationwide race in Montreal. Canada is a different country — it's true, I looked it up — and that means you need a passport to get there.
Problem is, Edwards left his passport at home. Whoops.
Since mail could be unreliable — FedEx and UPS sponsor different drivers, you know — Edwards, pictured above on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower earlier this week, is having an associate drive the passport from his Missouri home up to the track in Michigan. Edwards will then fire up his own plane and take off to the Great White North. (It's a beauty way to go.)
"We are going to leave here after practice as fast … well, we are going to follow all the rules of the road," he said. "We are going to go to the airport and fly to Montreal, land at the airport, we have the customs folks and have talked to them and they say they are going to make it somewhat easy on us. We are going to hopefully get a helicopter there and should make it to the race track literally five minutes before the race starts."
That's cutting it close. If something goes wrong, standby driver Billy Johnson will drive Edwards' No. 60 Fastenal Mustang until the first pit stop. Or perhaps the helicopter could hover over the track and they could switch drivers mid-race, action-movie-style. That'd be sweet.
Edwards also had fun with the fact that he'll be bringing along a passenger, Australian Marcos Ambrose, who has two top 5s and three top 10s in four races at Montreal. "I don't exactly know his status as a U.S. citizen or not, so I am a little nervous about customs with Marcos," Edwards said. "If he were to get tied up in customs it would not be the worst thing in the world for me. So I am not going to help him in any way [laughter]. And I am the pilot so I could say things on the radio that might trigger some sort of tougher investigation you know. 'Australia will rise again,' or something like that."
Race car drivers forgetting their passports while flying their private planes across international lines. They really are just like you and me.