Rumors swirling around Carl Edwards' future with Roush Fenway Racing
MAY 17, 2014 6:30p ET
The biggest driver rumored to be in play for 2015 is Carl Edwards, who is in the final year of his contract with Roush Fenway Racing. Last weekend at Kansas Speedway, Edwards declined to discuss where he was at in negotiations to remain with Roush or move someone else.
"You guys know that I don't like to talk about that stuff in the media," Edwards said at the time.
Meanwhile, rumors intensify that Joe Gibbs Racing is going after Edwards for a fourth team, as JGR did in 2011, the last time Edwards' contract was up.
At Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday, Jamie Allison, Ford Racing director, declined to discuss whether the automaker is trying to keep Edwards in the Blue Oval fold.
"When it comes to driver contracts, I think you guys all understand that our agreement is with our teams," said Allison. "Teams contract (with) drivers. Manufacturers, yes, have a role to play, but at the end of the day, this is a communication and an agreement between teams and drivers."
Matt Kenseth is someone who understands Edwards' position.
Two years ago, Kenseth announced he was leaving Roush Fenway after 13 full seasons in the Sprint Cup Series to join JGR, a pairing that's so far been very beneficial for both the driver and the team. Asked if he thought Edwards would be a good fit at JGR, Kenseth also politely tap-danced around the question.
"Man, that's not really my department," Kenseth said when queried about Edwards. "I haven't really put any thought into that. I've been more trying to figure out how we can get back to victory lane like my other teammates so we're qualified for the Chase or have a better chance of getting qualified for the Chase and just get back to form and running like we were last year. I try to stay pretty hard away from all the rumors."
Pressed further about whether JGR had the infrastructure to expand from its current three-car lineup to four, Kenseth still wouldn't bite.
"I'm the wrong guy to ask almost all of those questions," insisted the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. "I don't know. I can't really speak to the - first of all I didn't know they were doing a fourth team. I don't know if they are ready for that or not. ... I don't really run the business."
In terms of history, JGR made a big push to hire Edwards the last time his contract was up, in 2011. But the deal was never completed then, with Edwards re-signing with Roush after Ford Motor Co. reportedly ponied up lucrative stock options as part of the deal. Allison declined to comment on whether Ford sweetened the pot to keep Edwards then.