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.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for the injured Oliver Askew, also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at Ground Zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.