It was an eventful summer for Carl Edwards.

In July at Pocono, Tony Stewart turned left into Clint Bowyer, sending Bowyer into Carl Edwards and ending Edwards' hopes of making the 2006 Chase for the Championship.

Edwards returned the favor by turning Stewart on pit road and threatening over the radio to "whoop Stewart's (butt)" after the race. In August at Indianapolis, Stewart called Edwards "the Eddie Haskell of NASCAR." Edwards responded by calling Stewart "a moron."

Later that month, Edwards was leading in the closing laps of a Busch race at Michigan when he was wrecked by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Edwards retaliated by bumping the No. 8 car and paying a visit to victory lane to express his anger.

There is no doubt that Edwards is intense. More evidence of that can be seen on the Feb. 27 cover of ESPN The Magazine, where he posed shirtless, revealing the buff physique resulting from his daily workouts.

I spent some time with the Columbia, Mo., native Thursday while in Orlando for Busch Series championship week, where Edwards told me about a new passion, a record label called Back 40 Records.

"I'd come home and my little brother and my buddies would give me these CDs that people were making and they'd have to go to Kansas City or St. Louis to record stuff," he said. "It cost too much for them to do on a regular basis. And we all were just sitting there at the house and we thought, why don't we just take this room of the house and make it a recording studio? And it's turned into a lot of fun.


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The label name comes from Edwards' days in Columbia when he and his friends would race junk cars. "We'd have all these cars together and go race them out in this field that my buddy called his Back 40 because it was his back 40 acres," he said.
Edwards' personal musical tastes range from Johnny Cash to Jewel to Metallica to Jay-Z.

"The biggest thing for me when I listen to music is just that it's somebody who is passionate about what they do and they have a story to tell and that I can gain some insight from their artistic expression," he said.

The first CD, "That One CD," will be released in a few weeks. It is a compilation of songs by six different artists with musical styles including hip hop, R&B and acoustic rock. More info is available at www.back40records.com.

The venture isn't about making money.

"I have a career," Edwards said. "I love racing cars. This is more about giving these people an opportunity and doing something -- putting some good things out there."

I'll have more about Edwards, including my ride of a lifetime at Walt Disney World Speedway, coming up this Thursday.

Ellen Siska writes about NASCAR for The York Dispatch. She can be reached by e-mail at esiska@yorkdispatch.com.