I’m gearing up for my trip to Chicago tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m going to attempt to document my trip with video but we’ll see how that goes.

I checked the weather today and there’s a 40% chance of rain at Chicagoland on Saturday. There’s supposed to be isolated thunderstorms in the evening. Ew.

So, did you know that Carl Edwards was once a substitute teacher? I just found that out. Carl will be at the Office Depot store in Frankfort, IL (11145 West Lincoln Highway) tomorrow at 11am, in order to help The Office Depot Foundation with their “Back To School” event. The Foundation is donating 3,000 backpacks to local organizations that work with kids in the greater-Chicago area. There’s also an opportunity to meet Carl and get his autograph at the same store from noon to 1pm. Get there early though, they start passing out wristbands at 8am, one per person with only 200 available.

One more thing about Carl, his No. 99 Office Depot Ford will have a special super cool paint scheme this weekend:
No. 99 Office Depot paint scheme for the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway (courtesy of Office Depot)

The No. 99 Office Depot Ford piloted by Edwards will feature a one-of-a-kind “Taking Care of Business” paint scheme this weekend, featuring the individual signatures of close to 8,000 Office Depot associates from around the world. The signatures – collected from Canada to Korea, from Slovakia to Spain, from the United States to the United Kingdom – are representative of the fact that Office Depot associates in more than 40 countries across the globe help customers “take care of business” every day.

In other appearance news:

— In association with Jim Beam, Robby Gordon will be at the Cadillac Ranch in Bartlett, IL (1175 W Lake Street) tomorrow night from 10pm to 11pm.

— The crew of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet (including Tony Eury Jr.) are taking in a Cubs game tonight at Wrigley Field.

In other regular news:

Jimmy Elledge is joining Red Bull Racing as the crew chief for AJ Allmendinger and the No. 84 team. AJ seems to be happy to have the help: “Of all the crew chiefs in the Cup garage, Jimmy is one of the only ones I’ve spoken to and had a chance to get to know. When I drove a few Nationwide races at Ganassi last year, Jimmy was always helpful. He’s a guy with a lot of crew chief experience and has a good knowledge of these race cars, so I’m looking forward to turning this season around together.”

Good for them, I hope it works out.