What does Carl Edwards have to lose? There’s nothing but upside with his announced move to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015. Sometimes you just know you’ve given it your all in one place, and it’s time to try something new.
Of course, the anti-Toyota crowd is howling in protest over it. It’s a tired old argument, and frankly, if a fan says they are abandoning you over a nameplate, they probably weren’t all that into you anyway. Let’s be clear, there’s nothing wrong with preferring one make over another, but then you are loyal to a brand, and not so much a driver. A significant number of fans stick with their driver, no matter what team they are driving for. If you will permit yours truly to be a fan for a moment, I’ve never owned a Chevy and never will (unless I got a smokin’ deal on a ’68 Chevelle), but a number of my favorites over the years have driven Chevys, Oldsmobile, Fords, Toyotas- you name it.
Not that this has been a banner year for JGR; Matt Kenseth is consistent but winless, and Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch have had as many bad days as good. On the other hand, Roush Fenway- at least from here- have looked worse. Once Ford’s golden child, Roger Penske’s team has gone screaming past Jack Roush. Nothing stays the same, there’s no reason to expect Edwards won’t get a bounce from changing team a la his former RFR teammate Kenseth.
What about chemistry? Chemistry is overrated. If that ferocious Gang of Four can get along, and at least maintain a modicum of professionalism at Stewart-Haas Racing, so can the likes of Cousin Carl with Busch, Hamlin and Kenseth. The dust up between Edwards and Kenseth is ancient history. The two may never become fishing buddies, but are Kenseth and Kyle? Yeah….I don’t think so either. Newsflash: it is not required.
Major success has eluded Edwards in recent years, but let’s not forget he’s racked up 23 career victories and made strong runs at Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Tony Stewart in 2011. Having turned 35 just last week, Edwards has plenty of fuel left in the tank. It’s really hard to see any good for Edwards NOT to jump on board with Coach Gibbs.
In other news, it is also good to see Daniel Suarez getting what appears to be an honest-to-goodness shot in the Nationwide Series as the first full-time Mexican driver at NASCAR’s second tier. Time to find out what this kid can do.