Carl Edwards has been the spokesperson for Ford Racing for the last 10 years. Ever since Edwards debuted with what was then Roush Racing, he has driven a Ford. But after this Sunday’s last race in Homestead-Miami, that will be no more.
In the beginning of August at Indianapolis, Edwards announced the worst kept secret in NASCAR. He was making the move to Joe Gibbs Racing at the beginning of the 2015 season. Although Edwards will have star-studded teammates in Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, the entire organization is clustered.
There is speculation that Dave Rogers will not be back to crew chief Kyle Busch, and although Denny Hamlin is in the mix for the 2014 championship, Darian Grubb and he might not be a duo in 2015.
There are a lot of unknowns going into 2015, such as who will be Edwards’ crew chief? There is speculation that Rogers or Grubb may move to be on Edwards‘ pit box, and Adam Stevens will move up from the Nationwide Series. If Stevens moves up, he will likely be paired with Busch and the No. 18 team.
We do know that ARRIS will be the primary sponsor for Edwards No. 19 for the majority of the 2015 season, with Stanley being an associate sponsor all season long, and a primary sponsor for six races. We know that Edwards wanted to make a career change. “I didn’t want to look back on my career and wonder, what if?” Edwards said at the August press conference. “I am very excited to start a new chapter in my career with Joe Gibbs Racing.”
But is the move to JGR the right one?
JGR has lacked speed all season long. With only two wins as an organization, Busch at Auto Club Speedway in March and Hamlin winning at Talladega in early May. Since then, it has been a struggle for JGR. Even though JGR has been down on horsepower, -Hamlin still has a shot at his first career Sprint Cup Series championship, which has to give Edwards a boost in confidence.
Edwards hasn’t had a real shot at the championship since 2011, when he lost the championship in a tiebreaker to Tony Stewart. Before that, it was 2008, when Edwards had a series high 8 wins, but failed to win the title. At Roush, it was either hit or miss with Edwards.
He has always said the right things, and it comes as no surprise that he would be positive while being introduced as the new driver for Gibbs. In an ideal situation, Edwards would love to have the season that his future teammate Kenseth had in his first season with Gibbs in 2013, when he was victorious seven times.
There is no doubt that Edwards will give everything he has to his new team. Even as poor as the Roush cars have ran this season, he was in the championship hunt until after the race in Phoenix.