Carl Edwards has said this morning that he will continue to work hard toward winning a Sprint Cup championship for Roush Fenway Racing before he leaves the team at season’s end.
As for where he may end up in 2015, Edwards remains quiet. But he did reveal that he has a deal for next season in place.
“My deal is worked out,” he said on Fox Sports 1’s NASCAR Raceday. “I have a deal moving forward. I can’t announce it yet. When all those pieces come together, it’ll be announced and we’ll talk about it.
“But right now – I’ve been in this sport long enough to be very close to some championships, and it would be foolish and it would be wrong to not focus 100 percent on what I have going on right now.
“So that’s where my head is at – not just today, but for this season. When it’s right to talk about next year, we’ll talk about next year.”
Edwards, who currently is sixth in the Sprint Cup standings but fourth on the Chase Grid (two wins at Bristol and Sonoma), also said that the decision to leave Roush Fenway was his own and no one else’s.
“Of course, it’s my decision,” he said. “The biggest thing – and the thing that I came over this morning and talked with all the guys about, and [crew chief] Jimmy Fennig reminded me and everybody – that our focus is on this year.
“All these decisions, it’s tough and in this sport, you have to make these decisions early. But our mission is to win this race today and win this championship, and I feel like we can do it if we keep working.
“It’s definitely not a conversation that’s something you want to be talking about on race day, but there’s a lot of moving parts and this is how it worked out.”
Edwards has largely been linked to joining Toyota’s Joe Gibbs Racing as part of a new fourth program alongside Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.
However, Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News has tweeted today that JGR president J.D. Gibbs would not comment on the subject – only saying that the fourth JGR team is still possible for next year.
In the meantime, Ford Racing director Jamie Allison has chimed in on Edwards leaving Roush Fenway and Ford in the following statement:
“Carl Edwards has been a part of the Ford family for a decade, and it will certainly be tough to see him leave Ford and Roush Fenway Racing. During Carl’s time with Roush, he has represented Ford Motor Company with the utmost class, both on and off the track. We at Ford Racing did everything to facilitate keeping Carl a part of the Ford Racing & Roush Fenway family, but in the end that option did not come to fruition.
“While we are disappointed in his decision to leave Roush Fenway Racing, we certainly want to extend our appreciation for Carl’s contributions winning races and a NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship in a Ford, and especially for his outreach to Ford fans. That said, with this decision out of the way, our plan for 2014 has not changed. We will go forward strongly with our stated goal of securing a NASCAR championship for Ford.”