Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Tuesday morning that Carl Edwards will be joining the organization in 2015, driving the No. 19 Toyota.
“It’s a thrill to be where we are,” team owner Joe Gibbs said. “I think the last few months have been one of the most exciting times that I’ve been through. Where do you get a chance to put together relationships and know you’re going to win? That’s the goal here. Looking at the sponsors here, we are very fortunate to have the sponsors that we have. We have some of the greatest partners in the world and are fortunate to be paired with some of the greatest companies.
“It’s a thrill to have Carl here. I know we have a lot of racing left this year in these four racing for the championship. I think we have reached an agreement in that he’ll pull over when he sees one of our three guys coming – I’m joking, obviously. I hope for him to have a good year, and I think we’ll at Joe Gibbs Racing will also be contending for the championship for the rest of the year.”
“It’s a great addition having Carl Edwarsd join our race team,” J.D. Gibbs said. “I think Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin will all gain from Carl and he’ll gain from them likewise. We’re just excited as we think each of them will make them better. Carl is a big mountain biker and skier – which is a lot of the things that I do – so I just ask that you don’t get hurt.”
Arris, a worldwide leader in broadband and video delivery technology, will be the main sponsor for Edwards, covering 17 of the races. As for the rest of the schedule, Gibbs says that they almost have all those races sponsored, and that announcement will be coming in the future.
“This is a big day for us,” Arris Chairman and CEO Bob Stanzione commented. “Its sort of a coming out party for Arris. We have a lot of products in houses across the world – but we’re not as well known company. Personally, it’s a meaningful day for me. My family moved to South Carolina and we lived in the shadow of Darlington Raceway. For me personally, it’s huge – and for Arris, it’s huge also. Our company has been growing really fast, and this is an opportunity for us to make our company stand out more. Our commitment to diversity has been a lot of held position, and it’s one of the chief reasons that pushed us into this.”
Stanzoine added that he felt right now was the right time to get involved in NASCAR in helping to get Arris as a recognized company by consumers.
“We’re one of the largest companies that gets our services out there to give to companies to provide entertainment and services,” he noted. “A lot of people don’t know about our products and that we make them. We do sell some of our products in retail channels, so that’s another reason that we wanted to get our name out there. we wanted to get the brand recognition and the association with NASCAR besides the personal story, it’s about speed. Joe Gibbs Racing is about speed and integrity – and we prize that a lot. So it’s great to be with Joe Gibbs Racing.”
Edwards has spent his entire career to date at Roush-Fenway Racing, is currently sits eighth in the championship standings with two wins, qualifying him for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He has 23 Sprint Cup Series wins, as well as 38 Nationwide Series victories.
“It means the world to me to have this opportunity,” Edwards said. “It means a lot to have Kyle (Busch), Denny (Hamlin) and Matt (Kenseth) here – I look forward to learning more from you. I appreciate everyone here at JGR for making this possible. For Arris to be this big of a player in this sport out of the gate, it’s exciting for the sport. Bob has already told us that our cars have to as fast as his modems so if I’m not fast, I’m in trouble. I’m going to try and make it tough on you as I can for the rest of the year, but it’ll be exciting to work with you and Arris next year. Thank you for having me here. Thank you Arris for being here. I look forward to working with Daniel and touching up on my Spanish a little. I’m excited to be here and racing for championships.”
Edwards said that he made the decision to join Joe Gibbs Racing as he feels that it’s the right time for him to make a change in his career towards working at the goal of winning a Sprint Cup Series Championship.
“I was very fortunate in the number of teams that I talked to,” he noted. “I had some amazing conversations that I had to pinch myself in the middle of them. Looking across the landscape of the sport, everybody has spoken highly of Joe and I’m excited to be here.”
With the addition of Edwards to their line-up, JGR will now have four full-time Sprint Cup Series teams, joining Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing as teams to do so.
“Over the years, people kept asking us if we were set to go to three cars. It took us the longest to go to three cars because it had to be the right sponsor, the right driver,” Joe Gibbs commented. “So the media has been asking us if we’re going to a fourth car. We’re very careful with it. we felt this is the right time and mainly, we were able to get Carl and Arris and that was the perfect fit for us. Obviously, it’s very important in that everything we do here is team wise. I think everybody said this would be the right time. Adding Carl in the team brings more resources and we’re competing against teams that have four cars, or more with their alliances, so it’s great to have that as we want to win races.”
JGR also announced that Daniel Suarez will continue his climb up the ladder, running the full Nationwide Series schedule behind the wheel of the No. 18 Arris Toyota. The rest of their 2015 Nationwide Series plans will be announced at a later date.
J.D. Gibbs says for the team to be able to do the partnership, they owe a lot to Arris in sponsoring both Edwards and Saurez, however notes it’s the perfect relationship as “Arris delivers high speed technology to you and your home, and JGR delivers it on the race track”.
“Daniel is a great guy to get to know and he’s done a good job so far,” J.D. Gibbs added. “We’re confident that he’ll make an impact in the Nationwide Series as well.”
Suarez currently leads the NASCAR Mexico Series standings with four victories. He also has two wins, four top-fives and seven top-10s in 12 NASCAR K&N Pro East Series starts this season.
“This is great. This is a dream come true,” Saurez commented. “I can’t thank Joe Gibbs Racing for all this confidence and support. This has been amazing. All the support for 2014 and 2015 – full time Nationwide and also some races in the truck series with Kyle Busch Motorsports – this is amazing. I can’t wait to learn from all these guys. Thank you to Max Siegel and Rev Racing for all his support in the Drive For Diversity Program.”
In addition, JGR announced a partnership with Carlos Slim Domit and Escuderia TELMEX with support from Arris to provide development opportunities to deserving Mexican and Latin American candidates in the NASCAR Toyota Series in Mexico, and other NASCAR divisions.
“He’s a great guy to get to know. He’s down to earth and regular,” J.D. Gibbs said of Slim. “You go into his office and he understands the sport. He gets what we do in NASCAR and Joe Gibbs Racing. He’s passionate about racing. He’s shown a huge partnership in developing Mexican/Latin drivers in NASCAR. I think what makes this special in what Toyota does in developing diversity in NASCAR. So obviously there’s a lot of on this plate, and our plate, and we hope to do it well.”
“We’re happy to be here,” Slim commented. “This is a big step for us in our history in motorsports. We have been involved in motorsports for a long time. Motorsports is a sport where the attachment between the sponsors and the sport is really close. We see motorsport as a project in where everybody wins and grows the partnership together.”
Slim is also happy to see the growth in Saurez’s career as he remembered speaking to Saurez when he was young and getting started.
“He has given all his effort possible and life to make it possible,” Slim said. “We spoke with him when he was very young and he said that his life was in stocks and he’d be the first Latin driver to win championship in NASCAR. He is working at realizing that dream now in being surrounded by great people like J.D.”
Bob Carter from Toyota Racing was on hand for the announcement, stating that he was excited for this new endeavor.
“I think I’m the most excited person this forward,” Carter said. “To have Denny, Kyle, and Matt driving a Camry, but also Carl driving a Camry and then Daniel driving one – it’s a huge day for us. Everybody in Toyota loves this sport. When I sit in this room, back in 2007, when we first joined JGR and Toyota together, we wanted to enter NASCAR in a good and long way. We love this sport, we love the fan base, but we love most of all we love the relationship with gentleman like those sitting on this stage. Toyota is a big organization, but we try to operate it on a family level with relationships. So Carl, welcome to the family. Joe, thanks for doing what we do in representing the brand.”