Carl Edwards: Tony Stewart is the worst athlete in NASCAR (but he says it with a smile)

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Carl Edwards takes pride in being among the fittest athletes in NASCAR. He does it for himself, even though he admits you don’t necessarily have to be an athlete to do well in stock car driving.

“Everybody talks about it, are drivers athletes?” Edwards said during an interview taping this week for 120Sports.com. “You don’t have to be an athlete. You don’t have to be in any sort of physical shape.

“But there are days where it really pays off and it really helps.”

When asked who are the best athletes in NASCAR, Edwards included himself, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson.

“We all work really hard,” Edwards said. “But (fellow NASCAR driver) Josh Wise actually either has done or is doing an Iron Man triathlon and he’s very competitive. This guy is a world-class athlete.”

Host Mike Kim then had to ask Edwards who the worst athlete in NASCAR is.

Cousin Carl didn’t even hesitate with his answer as his face broke into a big smile.

“That’s obviously Tony Stewart, he’s the worst,” Edwards laughed. “We give Tony a lot of trouble.

“He must be the toughest guy in the world because he does nothing for his fitness and he’s able to just go out there and do a great job. He’s a tough guy.”

You know, Carl, if a diet of Burger King, Oreos (let’s not forget the immortal “soda cookies”) and Schlitz beer work for Tony and he’s still able to be tough, he may be on to something there.

After all, that diet has “powered” Tony to three Sprint Cup championships in his career.

Check out the videos below that — uh, hem — deal with Tony’s “diet.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Indy Lights: Kyle Kirkwood joins Andretti Autosport

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One of the Road to Indy’s most talented young drivers will climb another step up the development system ladder this season.

Kyle Kirkwood, the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 champion, has signed a contract to race for Andretti Autosport in the 2020 Indy Lights season. Kirkwood will drive the No. 28 car for the reigning championship team.

A native of Jupiter, Florida, 21-year-old Kirkwood has been incredibly successful in junior formulas over the last few years. He won the F4 US Championship 2017 and won both the F3 Americas and USF2000 titles in 2018.

Driving for RP Motorsport Racing, Kirkwood won 9 of 16 races in his maiden Indy Pro 2000 season last year, allowing him to win his fourth championship in three years and earn the Road to Indy scholarship.

“We are very excited about the addition of Kyle to our Indy Lights program,” Andretti Autosport CEO and Chairman Michael Andretti said. “We’ve followed Kyle’s career from when he started in 2018 with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and have been impressed with his success in every race that led to his Indy Pro 2000 Championship last year. As a championship-caliber team, Kyle displays the desire and talent that we look for in our drivers and are excited to see him hit the track for the 2020 Indy Lights season.”

Kirkwood previously drove for Andretti in a two-day test session at Sebring International Raceway in December. He will make his official debut for the team in the season-opening doubleheader at St. Petersburg on March 14-15.

“I am ecstatic that I can now say I am competing in Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport this season,” Kirkwood said. “They have established a winning program in Indy Lights and we plan on carrying that reputation throughout 2020.

“We are a fantastic match for each other and our Sebring test in December proved that.”

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