Columbia NASCAR driver Carl Edwards will be moving to a different team next year–but he’s not saying which one. He is however saying it’s on his own terms.
“Of course it’s my decision,” Edwards told FOX Sports 1’s “NASCAR RaceDay.”
Edwards has won 23 top-level races for Roush-Fenway Racing, but team co-owner Jack Roush did not list him as one of his drivers for next year. Team officials said Edwards had told them more than a month ago that he was negotiating with another team.
Edwards refused to discuss contract negotiations with Missourinet’s Bob Priddy, who was in Indianapolis, covering the race. Rumors have already been circulating for a few weeks about him going to the Joe Gibbs Racing operation, which is preparing a fourth car for next year.
Roush says he wishes the move would not happen, but he says Edwards is curious about what another team would be like. “I think Carl wanted to try something different before he saw his career get in its middle term and its final years,” he said.
Edwards has been with Roush throughout his NASCAR career, beginning in the trucks series, moving up to the present Nationwide Series where he was the national champion in 2007. All Edwards would say is that the deal for next year, but this is not the time to announce it.
If Edwards does move to Gibbs, he’ll become a Toyota driver. He has been a prominent face for Ford both nationally and in the Columbia area. It’s thought that Ford played a key role in his decision to stay with Roush three years ago.
Joe Gibbs Racing was founded by former NFL coach Joe Gibbs, who led the Washington Redskins to four Super Bowls, winning three. The team presently is made up of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Matt Kenseth, who was an Edwards teammate at Roush.
JGR has won NASCAR’s top championship three times with Bobby Labonte (2000), and with Tony Stewart (2002, 2005).