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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]
Denny Hamlin and Darian Grubb, the crew chief of the #11 Joe Gibb Racing Toyota, consult in the garage area during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The #24 Axalta Chevrolet crew celebrates in pit lane after driver Jeff Godron`s victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, salutes the fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Resers Toyota, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents, the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, drives through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cars race after a restart lead by Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet (L), Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cartwheel by Target Chevrolet (R) during the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, and Morgan Shepherd, driver of the #33 Little Joe`s Autos Chevrolet, crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redds Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones in action in the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, right, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert and the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/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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