NASCAR Busch Series leader and ninth-place NEXTEL Cup Series driver Carl Edwards drove test laps at Kentucky Speedway today to gear up for a three-week stretch during which he will split time between six racetracks.

The Roush Racing driver from Columbia, Mo., is ready to face the logistical challenges planned for his tour of split duty.

"What's going to happen in the next three weeks is that the Busch Series will be somewhere on Saturday and the Cup Series will be somewhere else on Sunday. The races aren't the tough part, it's getting all the practice and qualifying in. If there's any inclement weather, it's going to make it tough. I get to ride in some neat helicopters and jets, so it'll be a fun thing, it just takes a lot of logistical planning."

One stop on Edwards' tour is Kentucky Speedway's NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" event where he will battle NEXTEL Cup regulars Rusty Wallace, Greg Biffle and Michael Waltrip on June 18.

Edwards said he relishes the chance to return to the track where he won his first NASCAR-sanctioned race in 2003.

"Coming here to Kentucky is always awesome," he said. "We roll in the gate and I think about how the first win I got in my NASCAR career was right here in the Craftsman Truck Series. It was such a special night for me. It validated all the work and effort that everyone put in over many years."

The 25-year-old begins the week with a 74-point Busch Series lead over fellow rookie Reed Sorenson and plans to take the first steps in overcoming his recent 35th- and 31st-place series performances with a strong run at Nashville Superspeedway on June 11.

"Brad Parrott and this whole Charter team are awesome," Edwards said. "We're leading the points, but man, they're catching us right now. Two weeks in a row we've lost about 80 points or 100 points due to misfortune. That makes me nervous and it's hard to sleep at night, but we're here to win this thing, we're going to go to the end and give it all we've got." Tickets for "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" and all Kentucky Speedway events including the one-night-only "Jammin' in the Bluegrass Presented by Meijer" concert with Tim McGraw, Trick Pony and Billy Dean are on sale now. Fans can reserve tickets by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223), online at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com and http://www.tickets.com, through Tickets.com outlets including Meijer stores and at Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., and the speedway Fan Center outside the track in Sparta, Ky. Visit the track Web site for the complete schedule.

~ Kentucky Speedway ~