CONCORD, N.C. – Rumors are swirling about Carl Edwards’ future with Roush Fenway Racing, but most in the NASCAR industry agree where he’ll end up.
It’s no secret Joe Gibbs Racing has been interested in expanding to a four-car team for some time. The organization fields Sprint Cup entries for Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin, as well as a multi-car effort in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
It is widely believed Edwards will leave Roush Fenway to join JGR next year, though nothing has been confirmed by Edwards or JGR. Assuming that happens, confirmation likely won’t come until much later in the season.
However, let’s consider for a moment what would need to happen for Edwards to join JGR.
First and most importantly, JGR must have a sponsor lined up in order to consider forming a fourth Sprint Cup team. Racing isn’t cheap and being competitive in the Sprint Cup Series takes a ton of money, equipment and employees.
So what company might sponsor this proposed fourth team? One option is doing some sponsorship switcheroos within the organization. JGR could negotiate with some of its Nationwide Series sponsors — GameStop or Monster Energy come to mind — to bring them to the Sprint Cup Series in support of a fourth team.
Finding the employees for the fourth team won’t be a problem, they can just take the best staff from the JGR Nationwide programs to form that fourth team. Equipment won’t be an issue either.
Perhaps the most important question to be answered is whether or not JGR is the right fit for Edwards. The Sprint Cup veteran, whom serves as his own agent, might be looking at the success his former teammate Kenseth had after joining JGR last year. If Edwards can have the same amount of success that Kenseth had in his first year at JGR, that alone could be worth making the move from Roush Fenway.
Of course this is all conjecture. Roush Fenway Racing could suddenly announce Edwards has agreed to a multi-year contract extension and make all of this moot. Then again, maybe not.
We’ll all just have to wait and see.