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Baby watch: Carl Edwards has Erik Darnell on standby in California

FONTANA, Calif. – Erik Darnell is standing by for Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards for Saturday’s Stater Bros. 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in case Edwards needs to head home for the birth of his first child.

Edwards’ wife, Dr. Kate Edwards, is due any day now.

"Yeah, Erik is here and that’s the plan," Edwards said Friday. "The deal is we’re so far from home, and the travel time would be so much, that most likely I would just stay here. There would be small windows where I could maybe go home, but Erik is here."

Nothing has changed with his wife’s pregnancy, Edwards said.

"I’d take off and go see (the birth), but we went to the doctor this week and they said everything just looks the same, so I guess we’re just kind of hanging out," Edwards said. "We’ve been doing lots of walking and ate some spicy foods – everything they say to do – so we’re just waiting. I’m really excited about it."

Edwards is the favorite to win the Nationwide championship this season and finished second in last weekend’s season-opener in Daytona.

"This will be a great way to kick off our partnership with Copart is to have a good run here, but with Nationwide right now it’s a balance versus wins and points," Edwards said. "Last week, we finished second, but Tony’s not running the whole season, so in the championship hunt that’s a win.

"And it is a different strategy in this Nationwide Series because it’s the old school point system where every race counts and every point counts for the end of the year. It’s a balance. This is the beginning of a very long war and we’ve got to be very smart, but I love this race track. It’s gonna be fun."