A major part of NASCAR or any sport is the teammate/teamwork factor.
From the guys back at the shop building the cars, to the road/pit crew that makes things happen on race day, there really is no "I" in team.
But there is an "I" in winning, two in fact, but a team can't win without their driver and a driver can't win without his team. Or in Carl Edwards' case, he can't win without a whole bunch of twos: two series, two cars, two tracks and two different drivers behind the wheel of his racecar.
Edwards has run a full-time Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series schedule since he began racing in the two divisions in 2005. Most weekends both series are at the same racetrack but there are a select few races that Edwards and other double-duty drivers are using their frequent filer miles.
With all the traveling and track time for both series, Edwards is bound to miss a practice, or two, and maybe qualifying for the Nationwide Series. In preparation for such an event the Roush-Fenway No. 60 team has a substitute driver filling in until Edwards arrives on the scene.
There have been two races in 2009 that Edwards has needed one of his teammates to practice and qualify his car. At Milwaukee in June, Camping World Truck Series driver Colin Braun practiced and set up the No. 60, qualified it and let Edwards jump aboard for the race.
Edwards went out and won the race after passing Kyle Busch in the late stage of the race. It was his first win of the 2009 season after being so dominate a year ago.
Five weeks later Braun had to fill in again as Edwards spent his time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the Nationwide Series got ready to race at O'Riley Raceway Park a few miles and a couple towns away.
Braun once again set up and qualified the car and Edwards arrived for the race.
For the second time this year Edwards was able to out-duel Kyle Busch for his second win of the year and was able to finally show he could beat the man that has been kicking his and everyone else's butt.
In both instances Edwards failed to mention Colin Braun in victory lane.
He thanked everyone from the crew to the fans, but not the man who spent time preparing his car. But while Edwards may have forgotten, Braun didn't saying "Glad Carl won last night. So he wins when I drive practice for him... need to make a deal with Carl somehow to get more time in the Nationwide car."
Team owner Jack Roush agreed. Just two days after Edwards won and a day after Braun made that statement, an announcement was made that Colin Braun along with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Carl Edwards will all be racing full-time in the Nationwide Series next year.
There is also rumored to be a deal involving Paul Menard.
Braun is currently a full-time driver in the Camping World Truck Series who has his own past with Kyle Busch. Early this year in Lowe's, Braun was leading the truck race when Busch wrecked him and the shot at the win was gone. Then in Michigan, Braun outsmarted Busch who was leading and was able to beat him to to the checkered flag.
Braun sits ninth in points with 8 top tens in 14 starts to accompany his one win.
No sponsor though has been announced for his Nationwide Series ride for next season when he gets a chance to battle Busch some more as well as go head-to-head with teammate Edwards.
Right now though, Edwards must be thinking about the next time Colin Braun gets behind the wheel of his No. 60 car this year because he's going to need a lot more wins to catch and beat Kyle Busch for the Nationwide Series championship.