If you are a superstitious person, and I know many of you are, then you have to start keeping a close eye on Carl Edwards.
You may have seen he was in New Hampshire this week, helping us to hype the upcoming SYLVANIA 300 on Sunday, Sept. 25. Edwards paid a visit to Portsmouth, N.H. for a little fun around the bay. I've always liked the guy. He's charming, athletic, has a great sense of humor and you can tell the man enjoys fans. That's important to me.
But I also found out, not that Carl would admit this, he's a bit superstitious. In a good way, not a paranoid way. Okay, so there are stories of him not letting members of his team shave through the entire Chase because he thought it was bad luck. That's child's play compared to the neurotic behavior I have seen over the years. Edwards definitely has both feet on the ground, but there are some very real signs we need to watch. Follow my logic.
We invited him out to experience what it's really like on a New England lobster boat. He jumped into it with vigor and interacted with the crew as if he'd been doing it for years. The captain, an able bodied and kind man named Damon, steered us out of a Portsmouth harbor, near the Isle of Shoals and into a string of lobster pots he'd laid out early that morning.
After a quick review of what to do (including the very sound advice of don't fall out of the boat), the crew put Carl to work. How'd he do? The Midwesterner held his own, pulling in 10 lobster pots packed full of lobster each time. The skipper was ready to call Carl his own good luck charm.
Ten pots, all winners. Ten races to become the winner. Coincidence?
You may recall that whenever a driver wins a Sprint Cup race in New Hampshire, part of their trophy is Loudon the Lobster. Edwards, having won her before, has hoisted one of our 25-pound giants in victory lane. Although none of the lobsters we hauled that day reached that size, the sheer volume of good lobsters he pulled in gave him some excellent practice in lifting, banding and keeping a lobster.
My last piece of evidence is true, when we brought out our ceremonial mounted lobster we use for special occasions, there was a sticker on it congratulating Carl for winning the SYLVANIA 300. I don't know who did it, I know it wasn't Carl, but I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes!
I admire the hard work that goes into the business of lobster fishing. Our crew was impressive and I got a glimpse into how much these men care about their craft. Sprint Cup Series drivers share that spirit and it'll certainly be on display when the top-12 leave Chicagoland Speedway and set their sights on Loudon, the town and the lobster.