Cue the music from The Clash, “Should I stay, or should I go?” This is the question before the star of NASCAR’s 2014 “Silly Season,” Carl Edwards. For a decade, the photogenic, genial Missourian has been the face of Roush Fenway Racing, which for so many seasons has been the flagship team for Ford. Times has changed, leading to speculation Edwards will be changing addresses.
Just recently, we learned two things: the 2011 runner-up to Tony Stewart spurned an offer to race for Richard Childress. If he’s looking for a more competitive ride, it’s probably a wise move. While hardly a “start and parker,” RCR is far removed from its glory days when Dale Earnhardt ruled the circuit. One could make the argument that Childress is to Chevy what Roush has become for Ford- a once great team that is currently in a bit of a rough patch.
If you’ve seen Edwards’ TV interviews and commercials, you know he’s quite the pitch man. He can rattle off sponsor references unlike any other. One of the primary beneficiaries has been Ford. Speculation has abounded that the one-time substitute teacher might be headed for Penske, the Blue Oval’s new golden boy. Roger Penske has done his part to squash such rumors. Why not? The status quo for the Captain is pretty solid as Brad Keselowski is returning to competitive form and Joey Logano has found a new lease on life since arriving from Joe Gibbs. Could you really imagine Cousin Carl and Bad Brad as teammates? Me neither.
Speaking of Gibbs, there’s the favorite in the sweepstakes, so we’re told. Rumors have persisted for years that JGR was looking to expand to four teams, and on the face of it, it’s an attractive idea. Because of his reputation for sponsorhip skills, there’s little doubt Edwards would be a draw for funding. With that said, it is a little hard to imagine Edwards in a Toyota, for that matter, seeing the sometimes tempestuous racer once again linked with Matt Kenseth- a one-time teammate with whom Edwards shared an uneasy alliance.
Where will he go? Hendrick is full up, and has wunderkind Chase Elliott waiting in the wings. Stewart-Haas is full up and busy trying to make what they have now competitive with varying degrees of success. They can’t grow, do who goes? Danica Patrick? You and I already know the answer to that, though Edwards is every bit the marketing magnet Patrick is. Michael Waltrip? Hmmm. There’s an interesting idea no one’s saying much about. We’re figuring there’s a good reason for that.
Perhaps he stays. It appears Greg Biffle will do so; however, Edwards is still earlier on in his career than his teammate. If he has a yearning to see what life is like outside his current surroundings, now is the perfect. With that said, there’s risks involved. Some moves work out fine, like Kevin Harvick’s. Others turn out more like Darrell Waltrip’s move from Junior Johnson back in the day. Stay tuned. Silly season could get really silly real soon.