After spending the past 11 years of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career at Roush Fenway Racing, Carl Edwards makes the shift to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2015 season.
Looking back at 2014
Carl Edwards had a solid season in 2014 in his final year at Roush Fenway Racing as he won a pair of races while posting seven top-fives and 14 top-10 finishes en route to finishing ninth in the season ending standings. It doesn’t mark his best season statistically in the Sprint Cup Series, but it’s not his worst and certainly a season that some of his competitors would prefer over what they had. Without a doubt, Edwards proved that he can get it done if he is given the right equipment.
The problem – the equipment hasn’t been top notch at Roush Fenway Racing as of late, if you compare it to the likes of Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. That was evident by Edwards’ teammates Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finishing 14th and 27th in points, respectively, with four top-fives between the pair. It’s for that reason that with his contract being up, Edwards made the decision to jump ship and head to Joe Gibbs Racing for 2015.
Looking ahead at 2015
With top notch equipment on his side, Edwards has a good chance to pick up more than two wins next season and contend for the Sprint Cup Series Championship. Joe Gibbs Racing has proven that they have the equipment to get it done, as evident by Denny Hamlin finishing third in points, with Matt Kenseth seventh and Kyle Busch 10th. For Edwards, there is no excuses now if he doesn’t perform up to par.
Beyond simply having the equipment, Edwards has been partnered with Darian Grubb for the upcoming season. Grubb led Hamlin to a third place finish in points and led Tony Stewart to a championship in 2011 at Stewart-Haas Racing. Is it finally time for Edwards to become championship material? He came close to winning the title in 2011 – but was beat by Grubb and Stewart, in a tie-breaker. Perhaps this year putting the pair together will be the magic piece to the puzzle.
It’ll depend how quickly Edwards adjusts to JGR and his new crew chief, but if the most recent switches in team prove evidence, Edwards should be fine. Matt Kenseth finished second in his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013 after making the switch from RFR, while Kevin Harvick won the championship this past season at SHR after switching over from Richard Childress Racing. If recent history proves anything, Edwards should be in for a successful 2015 season.