If it hasn't been obvious from the last two articles I have written about Carl Edwards, I am a huge fan of his. I started being a fan of his three years ago. I was drawn by his articulate and gracious manners, and of course, as a female fan, his charming good looks didn't help either. To address the big elephant in the room, he is leaving Roush Fenway next season to go to a team that has not been announced by Edwards yet. Whatever team that may be, I along with countless others will stay by his side.
The process of switching teams is a very stressful decision that is not to be taken lightly. In this case, I don't think that Edwards took this one lightly at all. He had to decide between staying with the team that for 11 years has brought him success, or switching to another team so that he could have a better chance at winning a championship. At this stage in his career, you have to do what you have to do. The fact is, even though Edwards has two wins thus far, Roush Fenway has not been as great as it should be. The top team in the Ford camp, which is Penske, is out performing them. The cars are also not quite up to speed as they should be. In the last 4 races, Edwards has had an average finish of 20.5. Thankfully, those 2 wins have secured Edwards in the chase. So, I think that Edwards could be doing the right thing, not only for himself, but his family. Time will tell if this switch will bring him the same success that Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth have had, but either way, it's good for him to change.
I must add that I do not like how Jack Roush announced this. First of all, he chose to do it on one of the worst possible days, which is on a race day. The last thing that Edwards and his fans want to deal with on race day is his departure from the team. Edwards uses the time before race day to mentally prepare for a race, not to have to deal with contract drama. In an interview prior to the race last Sunday, when it was mentioned that Roush made the announcement, Edwards appeared dumbfounded and distracted, so much so that he did not take his sunglasses off during the interview, as he always does. I also think that in doing this on race day, it was kind of a stab in the back to Edwards. Edwards has always been gracious towards Roush for everything. He always has thanked him, even in defeat, for giving him everything he needs. And this is how Roush repays him? Not his finest professional moment at all.
The majority of his fans vow to stay with Edwards until his retirement, while there are others that are upset that he is leaving RFR, and is possibly leaving the Ford camp. While nothing has really been set in stone about what team he will join next season, the social media world has become a war zone between many of Edwards' fans. As a writer and fan, I want to say, please put an end to this now. Nothing good is going to come out of arguing with one another. If Carl saw what was going on between his beloved fans, he would be heartbroken. So Edwards loyalists, please refrain from calling the Ford loyalists "disloyal", and "untrue fans". Even though it can be hard for some to see where they are coming from, they have their reasons for being a fan, so please respect them. And Ford loyalists, please refrain from calling Edwards disloyal. He put in 11 years at an organization, and if that's not loyalty, I don't know what is. So please end the disagreements, and focus on this season for now. Cheer your driver on to win the championship. That is all that Edwards wants to focus on right now, and we should all do the same.