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Everyone has some leverage in the Carl Edwards contest

By admin | June 27, 2011

By Richard Allen

Another weekend has passed and Carl Edwards continued to remain mum about his contract status. And in reality that is the smartest thing for him to do considering that he has at least two of NASCAR’s most high profile teams bidding for his services.

Edwards’ contract with Roush Fenway Racing expires at the end of the 2011 season, and naturally, that company hopes to keep the winning and marketable driver in their fold for the foreseeable future. However, another organization has emerged to make a play for the driver’s services.

During the Michigan weekend, it became known that Joe Gibbs Racing has been conducting negotiations with Edwards. Supposedly, JGR wants Edwards to either drive their #20 car currently piloted by Joey Logano or even a fourth car for the company which fields one less than the allowable four.

The reason Edwards is best suited to keep quiet is that everyone involved in these negotiations has a certain degree of leverage and the Missouri native needs to see just who can offer him the best possible situation going forward.

Edwards himself has plenty of leverage. He has proven himself to be a winning driver and a championship contender. And perhaps just as important, he is very marketable for sponsors. So, this driver will have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to these negotiations.

And it is in the area of sponsorship that Gibbs may have his greatest leverage in the contest for the coveted driver.

If it is indeed true that JGR is prepared to cut Logano loose, then Home Depot will want a driver who can win and who is marketable to take the seat of the #20 ride. If it is not true that JGR is ready to cut Logano loose, it would be hard to believe the somewhat conservative Gibbs would enter into serious negotiations without the belief that sponsorship could be acquired for a fourth team.

Roush Fenway Racing only has one secured sponsor, 3M, locked in for its four teams in 2012. So, if RFR is lacking in sponsorship, what advantage do they have?

The leverage they might seek to flaunt would be that RFR has a Daytona 500 winner waiting in the wings. Should Edwards and his agents seek too much, either in money or otherwise, RFR need only to point to Trevor Bayne to show that there is someone who can take the place of their current driver if need be.

As the summer continues on, the contest to secure Carl Edwards’ services for next season and beyond could get very interesting as each side involved seeks to make the most of the advantages they have. Which side most effectively uses its leverage will probably be making an announcement by Labor Day or before.

Topics: Articles |

8 Responses to “Everyone has some leverage in the Carl Edwards contest”

  1. Bill B Says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 6:07 am

    This is one story that should go away. Carl isn’t leaving Rousch.

  2. Charles Says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Still think Dale Jr should be testing the waters!

    If I were Roush and Ford I would be trying to get him! Or RCR being Boyer is a free agent would be a good fit, being his fathers connections at Richard Childress Racing!

    But Jr needs to leave Hendrick!

    Hendrick will try to presign him as he knows all the money that Jr brings to his team!

    Roush or Childress may be a better fit for Jr and expectations would not be that high! Plus they could benefit from the sponsorship money!

  3. Arnold Decker Says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Edwards needs to get off the fence. No decision will effect his performace. He should stay where he is now.

  4. Mr. Tony Geinzer Says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Rich, I’ve said it before I am not a Gibbs Man Anymore and I think Carl Edwards going to Gibbs won’t change my opinion on them and sadly, I am bailing on Toyota after the season and dissociating myself with any manufacturer in NASCAR until the 5th Manufacturer comes in and I am going to say for 2012 Jamie McMurray or Kansas Clint Bowyer will be the pick for my new favorite driver.

  5. Jesse Says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 8:04 am

    If Carl signs with JGR then it’s all about money, everyone says Ford has the best engine right now and you can see that Roush has great cars . So if Carl leaves it’s only money and not winning for him.

  6. Ken Says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Here is a way out theory on my part! Carl will “leave” Roush, taking his Aflac/Subway/Scotts sponsorship with him and buy Team Redbull, calling it, like you don’t think this one is coming, Carl Edwards Racing. The team will then convert to Fords, which Carl will sign a supply deal with Roush for cars, engines, etc. And who will be his second driver? Well, there is one current Hendrick driver who we know needs a new ride for 2012, and that is one Mark Martin. That would put Mark back in a Ford, WHERE HE BELONGS! Hey, think about the deal Chevrolet and Hendrick set up to get Tony Stewart back in a Chev. If Hendrick can get away with it, why can’t Roush and Ford? As for Brian Vickers, maybe he’ll end up in the rumored third Petty car.

  7. Steve S Says:
    June 28th, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Ken, you could be onto something there. But Carl’s new team would be HOH racing (Head-Over-Heels)!

    And Mr. Geinzer, when is KIA going to have their entry into nascar ready?

    Charles, RFR doesn’t need Jr. They have Bayne and Stenhouse in the wings and they are young and don’t have the baggage.

  8. Bill B Says:
    June 29th, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Horse Head Racing.