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.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.