Hot Topic- Week of June23-27: Carl Edwards to Joe Gibbs Racing?


Regardless of where Carl Edwards drivers next season seems arbitrary, considering how his 2014 season is unfolding nearing the halfway point. Edwards has done an outstanding job of downplaying the media’s love affair with the idea of him driving for JGR next season.

Edwards persists his goal for 2014 remains the same win a championship for Roush Fenway Racing. Something he’s been on the verge of doing twice in his 10 year tenure with RFR. Already locked into the chase by virtue of his two victories (most recently at Sonoma), this season, Edwards can only build on what’s been a successful 2014 campaign moving forward. Carl’s victory on the road course at Sonoma last Sunday was a great morale booster for the entire RFR organization. But it’s a temporary cure for a team facing uncertainty.

Greg Biffle, much like Carl Edwards, is facing a situation where he may find himself on the outside looking in. Despite rumours circulating a few weeks ago he and long-time sponsor 3M would return to RFR next season and beyond, it’s almost July and nothing has been made official yet, leading sources close to the situation to speculate even if Biffle will be on RFR roster for much longer. RFR’s third driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr has struggled for a majority of the 2014 season. Combine all of this and you have one chaotic situation for an organization once consider being one of the strongest to drive for on the NSCS tour.

Cousin Carl’s future plans beyond this season continuously monopolize NASCAR headlines across the country. Until an official announcement is made of any kind expect this trend to run rampant. Adding fuel to the fire in recent weeks speculation has intensified greatly in regards to Carl’s impending move from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing.

Reports have surfaced that M&M/Mars the current sponsor of Kyle Busch’s #18 JGR Toyota would step up to sponsor Edwards and a fourth JGR team should Carl indeed make the move to Joe Gibbs Racing. Granted this is nothing more than speculation at the moment, you get the feeling a major announcement is on the horizon regarding this matter sooner rather than later.

Following Carl’s win last Sunday Kyle Busch reportedly asked over the radio if the M&M’s contract had been signed yet, to which an unidentified voice answered no. Indeed a peculiar comment, considering the announcement made last week by JGR team president JD Gibbs that the M&M’s brand would sponsor Kyle Busch in 2015.

Remember, we’ve seen this movie before, only for Edwards to remain with RFR, but something tells me the result will be completely altered this time around.

The addition of Carl Edwards to JGR would propel both team & driver to the next level. JGR’s impressive lineup would mirror that of Hendrick Motorsports in terms of competing for top spot among multi-car teams in the NSCS. On the other hand, the loss of Edwards would be a devastating blow for RFR, an organization that looks like a shell of its former self in recent years.

If RFR loses the services of Carl Edwards this would be the second driver to depart from the Roush camp in as many years. Matt Kenseth left RFR at the conclusion of the 2012 season for JGR, and produced phenomenal numbers in his first season with the team(seven wins, 12 top fivess, 20 top 10s, three [oles) Could the same fate await Carl Edwards in 2015?

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