Carl Edwards will not be working for Roush-Fenway Racing in 2015. Edwards long rumored departure was confirmed during a news conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday morning prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Brickyard 400 as Roush-Fenway announced their driver lineup for 2015.
“Recently. We’ve been discussing the Trevor Bayne program for a period of time,” team co-owner Jack Roush said. :That’s come to fruition with AdvoCare. Ricky Stenhouse is in the middle of a commitment he’s made to us and we’ve made to him for a period of time. Sponsors are still in a state of flux on all the programs. We’re not prepared to talk about those today, but it’s Ricky Stenhouse led by Greg Biffle and Trevor Bayne for Sprint Cup for 2015.”
“Carl has been a cornerstone of our success here in the last 10 years,” Roush added. “He’s one of the drivers who have come to our program initially. We’ve had 48 drivers in 27-and-a-half-years that have driven our cars and he, along with Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle, have certainly left his mark. We’ve enjoyed the time with him and enjoyed his success and wish him and his family success going forward.”
Roush said he did make an effort to keep Edwards.
“We made him an offer,” he said. “But I believe his decision was not based on – NASCAR racing, Cup racing is a big-time sports entertainment thing today. Like football and baseball and basketball, athletes move around. We wish it wouldn’t happen, but there’s curiosity about what another team’s situation would look 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.”
“Our hopes were to keep him,” he added. “We were not successful with that.”
Edwards has been with Roush since 2003 his first year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. He has raced the No. 99 Ford in the Cup Series since 2004. He has 67 career victories in NASCAR’s three national series.
In 2012, his first year of a three-year contract extension with Roush, Edwards went winless and missed the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He won two races in 2013 and made the Chase but finished last in the 13-driver Chase field. So far in 2014, Edwards has two wins.
Although he has been long rumored to be going to Joe Gibbs Racing where he will race a Toyota alongside Roush alum Matt Kenseth, Edwards has stated he is bound by contractual obligations not to make an official announcement until September. He stuck to that Sunday.
“There are so many moving parts here, and this was the right time for Roush Fenway to talk about their plans for next year,” Edwards said. “There are a lot of moving parts and we’ll announce everything as soon as possible.
“But today is about racing,” he added. “I talked to my crew. I talked to Jack (Roush), to (crew chief) Jimmy (Fennig) and our mission is to go win this race today and go win the championship. From a competitive standpoint, that’s the key. That’s where I’m at today.”