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Edwards' contract and comments stir controversy

Carl Edwards isn't known for causing controversy, but weekend rumours about his contract status and his outspoken comments about the next-gen NASCAR racecar had people talking at Michigan.
Considering how successful Carl Edwards has been so far in 2011 - he's 20pts ahead in the Cup championship after 15 races - you'd think that a contract renewal with Roush Fenway Racing would be a done deal.

But instead, there's still no word about whether Edwards is going to re-sign with Jack Roush after all, long after his team mate Greg Biffle sorted out a three-year extension back in April. And the longer the uncertainty goes on, the more gossip goes around the NASCAR paddock about the possibility of Edwards' and Roush's negotiations having stalled and deadlocked.

Last weekend's "no smoke without fire" story was that Edwards had been in discussions with Joe Gibbs about a move there in 2012.

It would prove to be a logical development: if talks with Roush really have hit a roadblock, then Edwards would need to start talking to other teams simply as a contingency, and in today's NASCAR field there are few teams comparable with Roush Fenway. Indeed, Joe Gibbs Racing may be pretty much the only game in town as far as a championship-winning partnership prospect goes for Edwards.

But just as stories about Lewis Hamilton having a talk with Christian Horner in Montreal does not mean a deal for him to switch to Red Bull F1 is about to happen anytime soon, neither does any talk about meetings between Edwards and Gibbs - even if true - mean that anything substantive is in the works.

Gibbs would clearly be interested in having the 2011 champion-presumptive on the books for next season, and the rumours go that he's less than happy about Joey Logano's development in the #20. Logano was signed as the "next big thing" but has had a less than scintillating couple of years with the team, this weekend finishing in 18th place while his team mates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished first and third respectively.

Unsurprisingly, the problem with Edwards' Roush Fenway contract talks seems to be over money: Edwards was an expensive signing for the team when he moved there, and after the success he's given the team in the last two years he understandably thinks that he should get his due reward - whereas Roush has publicly said that he has no intention of breaking the bank again like that anytime soon, for anyone.

When it comes to funding any deal, Roush Fenway has had a battle to retain consistent sponsorship with the #99 while the JGR #20 comes complete with one of the most secure and enduring sponsor deals in NASCAR courtesy of Home Depot - who are desperate to topple business arch rivals Lowes from the top of the Cup championship after five straight years of victory with Jimmie Johnson.

The #20 also comes with one of the top crew chiefs in the business, two-time championship winning Greg Zipadelli. This may be both a plus- and a minus-point: Zipadelli has traditionally been seen as an inseparable package with the #20, but Edwards has always been very loyal and committed to his current crew chief Bob Osborne - although a couple of early season calls about whether to pit or stay out (the eternal fresh rubber versus track position debate) seemed to cause a little friction between them when Osborne's calls proved the wrong way to go. However, current paddock gossip suggests that Zipadelli may be contemplating a move to Tony Stewart's team after friction in recent months with Logano. Zipadelli won the Cup championship with Stewart in 2002 and 2005.




Related Pictures

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Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Kellogg`s Ford, speaks to crew members in the garage area during practice for the 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 10 in Long Pond, Pa. [Picture Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images]
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualified for seventh position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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roush99 - Unregistered

June 26, 2011 2:41 AM

As a lifelong Ford fan I've had 3 favorite drivers. Bill Elliott, Mark Martin and Carl Edwards. The 1st 2 both now drive Chevys. Ford is the reason I'm a Nascar fan. Many fans I'm sure follow a driver, but I'm a Ford and a Roush fan. Roush is the only owner who's drivers have only driven for him. He gave all of them their start in Nascar, including Martin, who'd be better off in the #6 right now then the #5. He never should have left Roush. Carl should look at that, 2 of Hendrick's drivers haven't won a race in 3 years. If he leaves, he'll just be another traitor all about the money, who cares that Roush made him a superstar. If that's the type of person he is, then I've been wrong about him for 9 years. With Bayne and Stenhouse in their early 20's, Roush has plenty of talent in the bank. How do you leave the best car in Cup? If winning is really what he wants, he'd never leave the #99.



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