As it is every year, this year is a contract year for many Sprint Cup drivers, including Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards. There have been several rumors saying that he is looking at other teams, and that he may leave Roush Fenway. However, 34 year-old driver from Columbia, Missouri has yet to state what his plans are going to be. This has his fans worried that he may leave the team that he has been with since he started his career in NASCAR in 2002.
There are several rumors that Edwards may leave Roush for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) to drive a fourth car, just as his former teammate Matt Kenseth did last year. He is also speculated to join Penske Racing if does decide to leave Roush Fenway. The anticipation increased as Edwards stumbled over his interview Saturday night with NASCAR on Fox, over whether he was staying or leaving. But only Edwards knows what he is going to do with his future.
I think that ultimately, Edwards will stay with Roush Fenway. He always speaks of how grateful he is that Jack Roush gives him an opportunity to race. Even though his season hasn't been as consistent as it should be, he already has a win this year, is 5th in points, and is locked into the Chase. He also has a championship caliber crew chief in Jimmy Fennig. He is having a decent season this year, and I don't think that he would give that all up to join another team. He has also had to face these rumors before. Back in 2011, there was speculation that he would leave for Gibbs. After taking so long to decide, he chose to stay with Roush. I think that if he wanted to jump ship, he would have done so 3 years ago. So there is a high possibility that he will stay.
Even if he decides to leave and join another team, it may not be all that bad for him. He obviously has no trouble getting sponsors, as he is extremely likeable and down-to-earth. A change may give him a year that Kenseth had last year. Although Kenseth came in 2nd to Jimmie Johnson, he won 7 races last year, and had one of the best seasons of his career. Even with the bad luck, it has also proven to be good for Kevin Harvick as well, seeing that he already has 2 wins. So going to another team may give Edwards the fresh start that he needs.
On the other hand, if Edwards does decide to go to another team, there may be a chance he could lose some fans in the process. Some of Edwards' fan base consist of Roush Fenway and Ford loyalists. If Edwards decides to drive for a team that uses anything other than a Ford engine, he may lose these fans. As unfortunate as it may be, this is the way racing works, even if he does have a reputation of being loyal to his fans. Also, if Edwards does decide to join another team, there could be a possibility that he may not get the equipment he needs to be successful. If he were to join a team like JGR that stretches to a fourth car, he may get the short end of the stick, seeing that they have to equip another car. But time will tell if that would happen or not.
There is much uncertainty about where Carl Edwards will end up next year. But one thing is for certain, no matter where he decides to end up, he will still be a star no matter what. Not only does he have a lot of talent, but he is extremely marketable.He is also extremely loyal to all of his fans, so he will keep performing hard for them. I think he will succeed no matter what kind of equipment they give him. There will always be fans who will follow him no matter where he goes. So as we wait to see what he does, remember that rumors are just rumors, and nothing is set in stone.