Is it true? Is Carl Edwards really heading to Joe Gibbs Racing? It’s been speculated for weeks that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards would end up with Joe Gibbs Racing and as of Tuesday morning that has proven to be the case. In an early morning press conference Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) made it official by announcing that Edwards would in fact be part of the organization starting with the 2015 season.
It can only be called one of the worst kept secrets in
NASCAR as speculation began early in the season that Edwards would be leaving
Roush Fenway Racing at the end of 2014. That prediction came true during the
mid-point of the season when the Roush organization announced their 2015 driver
lineup and it didn’t include Edwards.
The JGR announcement also included word that the team would add a driver to their Nationwide and Camping World Truck series efforts. Daniel Suarez was named as being part of the team in those efforts also starting with the 2015 season. Team owner Joe Gibbs said it was a big day as he named his new drivers.
“This is one of the biggest days in Joe Gibbs Racing’s history,” Gibbs said. “To be able to bring a driver the caliber of Carl Edwards on board to launch our fourth team is just a thrill.”
For Carl Edwards the move is one that he’s said often was something that he has thought about for several seasons. Apparently the driver didn’t want to look back at his career and ask “what if” he had tried something new or went to another team. It was something that team owner Jack Roush said that he thought Edwards had been thinking about.
"Like football, baseball and basketball, athletes move around," Roush said. "We wish it would not happen, but there's curiosity about what another team's situation would be like and I think that although I shouldn't speculate, I think Carl wanted to try something different before he saw his career get in its middle term and its final years.
The news that Edwards was officially leaving Roush came during the race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway prior to the running of the John Wayne Walding 400. The rumor mill kicked in on where Edwards would land. The Gibbs organization was an early favorite.
What Edwards Brings to JGR
Carl Edwards is not only landing with one of the best teams in NASCAR but he’s bringing them plenty of pluses to the table. Edwards is currently running in the eighth spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. It’s not like he’s a down and out driver looking for a last chance.
For 2014 he has two wins, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes after the race at Michigan. He’s won 23 races during his 11-year career with 106 top-five and 182 top-10 finishes. That’s not a driver looking for a place to land in order to enjoy the twilight of his racing days. In fact, Edwards say's he will do his best to best to beat JGR drivers this season!
"Obviously a huge day for me and my career and I'm looking forward to next year," Edwards said. "We're competitors for the rest of this season and I'm going to try to make it as tough on Joe Gibbs Racing as I can for the rest of the year. But starting next year it will be really exciting to race for championships with Joe Gibbs Racing."