INDIANAPOLIS – It’s official – Carl Edwards will not be back at Roush Fenway Racing in 2015.
That was confirmed in a Roush Racing release Sunday morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the Brickyard 400, buried at the bottom and simply said, “Carl Edwards will not be with the team for the 2015 season.”
Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. return and Trevor Bayne will move over to Roush’s operation in the Cup series next year driving the No. 6 Ford.
As for Edwards, team owner Jack Roush said in the statement:
“I will always be thankful for Carl’s contribution and the role he played in many Roush Fenway wins and championships,” Roush said. “We wish him well for the future. In the meantime, we are excited about continuing our quest for a championship with Carl and the No. 99 team in 2014.”
Edwards spoke to reporters in Gasoline Alley on Sunday before the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.
“There are so many moving parts. This was the right time for Roush Fenway to talk about their plans for next year,” Edwards said. “For me, the right time to talk about exactly what I’m doing next year – it’s the same thing, there are a lot of moving parts and we’ll announce everything as soon as possible.
“Today is about racing.”
Roush also spoke to reporters and admitted Edwards has been a cornerstone of success for the team for the past 10 years. Edwards told the team about a month ago that he would be leaving at the end of this season. According to Edwards, he has a deal completed but is not allowed to reveal where he is going at this time.
“He’s one of the drivers who have come to our program initially,” Roush said of Edwards. “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.
“We made him an offer. 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 and we were not successful with that. It’s just a reality of the business we’re in. I have no emotion either way on that.”
The lineup features a veteran perennial ‘Chase’ contender in Biffle – who is currently competing to become the first driver to win a championship at all three of NACAR’s premiere series – as well as two of the sport’s most promising up and coming drivers.