As NASCAR prepares to take over Southern California this weekend for their Sprint Cup race in Fontana, Carl Edwards, originally from Missouri, trained with a Texas SWAT team in Dallas. The elite police training had little to nothing to do with the race on Sunday, but he did learn a thing or two from Forth Worth's finest.
"I learned a lot and had a lot of fun with it," Edwards said. "In a lot of ways, it was just like NASCAR in relation to what goes on behind the scenes that people in the stands might not see. It was very educational. My eyes were opened to how much work they put in.
"I've definitely got some new friends that were pretty interesting guys. I don't know if any of their techniques would come in handy in NASCAR, but the biggest thing I learned is that safety and preparation are the ultimate for them -- and their biggest goal is to serve the community."
Edwards tied with Tony Stewart in points after 36 Sprint Cup races last season, but he lost the title to Stewart because Stewart won more overall races. Edwards was hoping to use 2011 as a spring board for 2012, but he has gotten off to a terrible start to this year's season.
Edwards is 15th in the standings and 14 points back from earning a qualifying spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and while he hasn't gotten off to a good start, he's still motivated and optimistic about the rest of the season.
"The only real mistake we've made is running out of fuel at Phoenix -- that was inexcusable," Edwards said. "But it's four races. We know how strong we are and we're not down-and-out at all. We're motivated, we're ready to go race and to be leading those points before too long."
Below is this weekend's NASCAR schedule, provided by SB Nation's Jeff Gluck.
3 p.m. -- Sprint Cup Series practice (1 hour, 30 minutes)
4:40 p.m. -- Nationwide Series final practice (2 hours, 20 minutes)
7:10 p.m. -- Sprint Cup Series qualifying
12:30 p.m. -- Sprint Cup Series practice (50 minutes)
1:35 p.m. -- Nationwide Series qualifying
3:50 p.m. -- Sprint Cup Series final practice (1 hour)
5:30 p.m. -- Nationwide Series race (150 laps, 300 miles)
3 p.m. -- Sprint Cup Series race (200 laps, 400 miles)