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Edwards’ agreement to stay with Roush has to come as blow to Toyota

By admin | August 4, 2011

By Richard Allen


On Thursday morning Roush Fenway Racing and Carl Edwards announced they had agreed on a contract extension that will keep the driver in the number 99 Ford for the foreseeable future. This has to come as a blow to Roush’s much disliked rival, Toyota.

As was well known, the top competitor for Edwards’ services during his contract negotiations was Toyota front runner Joe Gibbs Racing. It was even reported at one time that there was a ‘done deal’ between Edwards and JGR. The re-signing of the star driver with RFR had to come as a blow to the Japanese auto giant.

When Toyota first came to NASCAR their most vocal critic was Jack Roush. The long time Ford campaigner wasted few opportunities to take shots at Toyota, especially during the company’s somewhat disastrous early going in the sport.

However, the dynamic in that rivalry very much changed when powerful Joe Gibbs Racing joined the Toyota camp and gave the manufacturer a serious race winning and championship contending organization to carry its banner. Suddenly, Toyota was not an after thought, but instead, a serious threat.

After Roush’s constant criticism and verbal jabs against them, Toyota had to relish the idea of stealing away his star driver and biggest marketing attraction. Instead, whether it’s true or not, it appears more like the foreign manufacturer well known for spending large amounts of money in every form of motorsports was used as tool during the Edwards’ talks.

Toyota and JGR certainly have contending drivers in their lineup in the persons of Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, but adding Edwards would have boosted the two entities to another level of stardom and marketability, not to mention race winning and championship contention.

Without a doubt, Jack Roush and his Roush Fenway Racing organization are glad to have the Edwards negotiations behind them and the driver solidly in the fold for years to come. But at the same time, it is likely that the driver is not the only one doing back flips as Roush takes joy in the fact that he has kept Toyota’s hand out of his cookie jar.

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10 Responses to “Edwards’ agreement to stay with Roush has to come as blow to Toyota”

  1. Ken Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Any word about Edwards’ sponsorship for 2012 and beyond? If I understand Edwards’ situation with regard to all this contract talk, it was Home Depot who was the main driving force to get Edwards into a Gibbs Toyota, thus victimizing Joey Lagano. I still say that the Number 99 will be decked out in the colour orange next year, as in Home Depot orange

  2. Russ Edwards Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    You have to wonder about the accuracy of a Toyota involvement in the Edwards saga. The company was at one time noted for its lavish spending on motorsport.

    However that has reversed in the past couple of years. They have cut back or withdrawn completely from a wide range of motorsports activities. Including a signifigant reduction, I am told, in Nascar this year.

    That coupled with the earthquake in Japan, and the resulting collapse in US sales raise serious questions. Hard to believe given all of those things that they were waving a lot of money around. Maybe it was just a good story.

  3. Curtis Webster Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I would love to see the “99″ shrink wrapped in Home Depot orange next season. They cannot be happy about being also rans while the Lowes car racks up wins and championships.
    As far as Toyota goes, I do not think they are in NASCAR for the long haul. They came in while it was booming and on the rise. I can see them dropping NASCAR like a hot potato if things continue to spiral downward with the economy.

  4. Dan Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I hope Ken’s right, I’ll be able to shop at home depot again!

  5. Tyler West Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    It’s going to funny when the rest of the field catches up to the Ford motor advantage if you can call it that. The true big dogs still reside under the Hendrick banner ( and NO IT’S NOT JR.) I have no problem with Roush/Fenway if it didn’t have Jack Roush. He cries about everything, back in the 90’s he wouldn’t shut up about teams supposedly cheating at everything under the sun. Fact of the matter is he had chances to win Winston titles but blew it and he could not deal with it. By the way Roush fans those Hendrick cars are coming.

  6. Russ Edwards Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    BTW: They came into Nascar to sell Tundra’s, not Camry’s. That hasnt worked out real well for them has it?

  7. Marybeth Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I understand Home Depot is looking for another driver. Jr.’s favorite color is orange. :)

  8. Jesse Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Toyota spends money to get what they want, look at the NFL with all the teams with Toyota as a sponser,the New York Yankees also, but in F1 they left, in CART they left, why because they did not control them, but with NASCAR they are in control, all the on air TV people, Phil Parsons, Mikey, Darrell, Rusty, Brad are all with them, but they did not get the big one since Tony left JGR, and this is a great day for the anti-Toyota NASCAr fan.

  9. Terry Says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Happy this turned out this way. Too much distraction these past months. And that he remains in their stable with the Yates Roush engines is good. That is some serious steam under those hoods. Glad that Ford also found reason to be involved if true. I hope Carl will now clean up some of his antics - my opinion of him dimmed a bit when he put Brad into the fence. But I am still happy for Ford, RFR and those Yates connections. This is a good outcome.

  10. Joe W. Says:
    August 5th, 2011 at 7:10 am

    “Edwards’ agreement to stay with Roush has to come as blow to Toyota”
    I sure hope so!!!!!!! Nothing would please me more than to have toyota gone from Nascar. And Tyler West, I don’t want to be nasty here so I’ll try to be civil. Can you really bad mouth Roush when you love Hendrick? Come on man, we all know Knaus is the “best cheater” in Nascar. Gibbs tries but they get caught more. But I’ll give you this, Chad is one heck of a cheater.