There’s no place like home

Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 19, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — It may not look like Kansas anymore — at least not like the old Kansas — but it’s still a special place to Carl Edwards, who lives in Columbia, Mo., about two hours east of the speedway.

“It’s still my home track,” Edwards said Saturday morning. “It’s a different surface, though, and it’s so much faster. I was really nervous about the changes being bad for our team in particular, but we’ve been super fast in practice.”

In fact, Edwards was seventh quickest in Saturday’s first session.

“For us, and for me personally, this race is as important as any race on the circuit,” Edwards said. “A win here, this would be as big as any Daytona 500 that we could win, any Brickyard 400, any of that.

“This win that I plan on getting on Sunday is what we need to turn our whole season around and make this a great year.”

After finishing second to Tony Stewart on a tiebreaker in last year’s championship battle, Edwards failed to make the Chase this season and currently is riding a 64-race winless streak.

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