Saturday night at Kansas Speedway during the NASCAR Sprint Cup prerace show, Darrel Waltrip asked Carl Edwards “Can you win a Championship at Roush?” With that it is apparent that Carl Edwards is in play to move to another team if not has already committed to one.
Carl Edwards is a free agent after this year and his answer to Waltrip was very surprising.
“That’s a good question? I think we can. We’ve been very close we’ve sure looked close at it but we haven’t got it done. It’s been ten years and really overall that’s my goal.” Edwards added, “I believe if I work hard enough and Roush works hard enough, I believe we can do it. There is not a better year than this year with Jimmy Fennig, the Chase format, and finishing at ford championship weekend at homestead. So yes I know we can and we have to do it this year. We just got to keep digging.”
It is obvious that Carl Edwards is at the very least testing the waters. He wants to know what he is worth to Roush Fenway Racing and other teams. He doesn’t want to talk about it but it is apparent that like the drivers before him, his contract standing will be a topic for discussion.
Prior to the current contract it was rumored that he was very close to signing a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. Matt Kenseth, Edwards’s teammate at the time, ended up going to JGR supposedly in the ride Edwards turned down. Kenseth’s success with that switch has to be in Edwards mind.
Kevin Harvick was in a similar situation, he was at Richard Childress Racing for over ten years and no championship. He announced a very unusual almost two years before his contract was up that he was leaving. Harvick’s success so far this year with his new team at Stewart Haas Racing also has to be in Carl Edwards mind.
So as we exit facts and move into pure speculation, where is Edwards going? This discussion is also where we pick up Carl Edwards teammate Greg Biffle who is also in the last year of his contract. If both of these quality drivers are in play for other rides, what are those other rides?
There are five big high quality teams. Hendrick Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Penske Racing.
First off Hendrick Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing have four teams; there is no room at the Inn here for Edwards or Biffle. It would be extremely awkward for either of them to drive for Penske Racing which gets technical support and engines from Roush Fenway Racing. That leaves just Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing.
Joe Gibbs Racing has three teams. They have always wanted a fourth team but would not start one unless the circumstances were right. Those circumstances were a high quality driver and sponsor, a team that can win right off the bat. If I were a betting man this is where Carl Edwards is going, if he is going somewhere. This leaves no room for Greg Biffle here unless another JGR driver is also in play.
Looking at teams overall performance, it is hard to imagine leaving Roush Fenway Racing to go to Richard Childress Racing. There are two other teams that might be looking to add a team. They are Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and Michael Waltrip Racing. It is hard to imagine Greg Biffle going to any of these teams so although Biffle hasn’t been able to get a contract done and is testing the waters, it’s a very small shallow lake. That’s why Greg Biffle will stay at Roush Fenway Racing, finish his career and shine. Roush Fenway should acknowledge what Biffle has done for them the past 16 years and give him the contract he wants.
There is a reason they call it “Silly Season” sometimes what goes on simply seems Silly to those of us on the outside. Either way the old adage “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” applies. In this case, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick have shown that the grass might just be greener there.
Carl Edwards is going somewhere, he said so “… we have to do it this year”. He wasn’t talking about a next year for Roush Fenway. So begins Silly Season, and it’s only just started.
Feature Photo Credit: 296369 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images