Carl Edwards: There “definitely will be changes” at Roush Fenway

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As we wait for a final conclusion to the contract saga between Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing, Edwards has said today that the team knows where it stands performance-wise and is reacting accordingly.

“I feel like there have been a bunch of moves internally – there definitely will be changes at Roush Fenway Racing,” he said following today’s first Sprint Cup practice at Pocono Raceway.

Chip Bolin moving on is a huge change and shows you the magnitude – I guess we understand where we are at. We know we have to be faster and there are big changes trying to address that.

“[General manager] Robbie [Reiser], Bob Osborne, Jack [Roush], everyone is working as hard as we can and we just have to hope that we work on the right things and are able to implement the findings and be better. We have everything there, we just need this much more speed and we would be really good.”

Edwards is currently a solid third in the Sprint Cup standings, but is the only Roush Fenway driver with a win so far this regular season.

His teammates, Greg Biffle (who, like Edwards, is also in the middle of a contract year) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., are 16th and 26th in the standings respectively, and are both winless.

While noting that the team still has time to sort out their overall woes, Edwards said that at this stage of the regular season, a critical question must be answered.

“There hasn’t been a lot of shift in the field but at the end of the day, now is the time when you have to think about if we are going the right direction or wrong direction performance-wise,” he said.

“That is what everyone has on their minds. How do you be the best you can so that you peak at Homestead [at the end of the season]? That is what you have to do.”

Edwards was 17th-fastest in today’s first practice at Pocono.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.