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NASCAR’s worst-kept secret is official: Carl Edwards joins Joe Gibbs Racing from 2015

Aug 19, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT

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For several months, the question has not been if but when it would be announced that Carl Edwards would shift from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing.

On Tuesday, we’ve finally had that question answered.

Edwards has been officially confirmed as driver of Gibbs’ new fourth entry, the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry. He’ll join Gibbs holdovers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, and reunite with former Roush Fenway teammate Matt Kenseth.

The No. 19 falls perfectly in-between Busch’s No. 18 and Kenseth’s No. 20. In recent years, Gibbs’ part-time fourth car carried the No. 81 in the selected races it was entered.

ARRIS Group Inc., a global innovator in IP, video and broadband technology, is a sponsor new to NASCAR and will have a presence both on Edwards’ Cup car for 17 races and also for rising Mexican star Daniel Suarez, who will compete in the full 2015 Nationwide Series (under its new name) and selected Camping World Truck Series races.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Joe Gibbs said the remaining 19 races for Edwards’ Cup car will be announced shortly, but most deals are done. He said he was “thrilled” to have companies coming to JGR.

For Edwards, while he reiterated the focus will remain on closing out strongly with RFR, he expressed his excitement with the switch.

“This is a huge day for me. It means the world to me to have this opportunity, means a lot to have Denny, Kyle, Matt here and to be a part of this organization,” Edwards said. “It’ll be nice to finally be able to talk about this.

“Thanks to Joe and JD (Gibbs) making this possible. For AARIS, for Bob (Stanzione, Chairman/CEO) and his company to be this big right out of the gate, is huge. It’s a huge day for me and my career.”

Joe Gibbs said it was important for the timing to be right to expand to a fourth team. Most will be staffed internally, most likely including a crew chief, although no personnel announcements were made here.

“Over the years people kept asking us when we’d be adding us a third,” he said. “We added the third (in 2005), but we were a big team, it took us a long time to go to three. We want our vision and everything we’re doing with our three, so it had to be the right sponsor and right driver.

“We’re very careful with it. Mainly we were able to get Carl and ARRIS. Everything we do is team-wise. Everyone said this would be the right time. Carl brings more resources for us. We’re competing against four (cars) or more, and all we want to do is win every race.”

Stanzione elaborated on ARRIS’ decision to enter and go big.

“It’s somewhat of a coming out party for ARRIS. We’re in millions of homes, but we’re a brand that’s not that well known,” he said.

“When we just asked ‘who’s heard of us,’ maybe 4 hands went up. And that’s the reason we needed to get out there. We provide high speed data, voice and video communications to service providers. To bring you entertainment, to allow you to surf the web, you may have our product but not know it. So we wanted to get the brand out there.”

More will follow on MotorSportsTalk throughout the day on the rest of this announcement.

  1. matt33fl - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    this is absolutely the right decision for Edwards to make at this point of his career. Roush Fenway Racing is a sinking ship with Jack Roush at the helm and it won’t get any better until he steps down.

  2. Bill Belitext - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Based on JGR ability to develop driver talent, I am guessing that the 2024 driver lineup for Gibbs will be Larson, Dillon, Bayne, and Wallace Jr?

    But seriously, WTF is going on at Roush??? Who in their right mind is going to choose Stenhouse, Bayne, and Biffle over Edwards, Kenseth, and Biffle???

    I like Biffle, and I like Bayne, but neither of them are super stars. And Stenhouse has been absolutely horrendous in the 17. Kenseth is a cup series champion, and Edwards has been a top 5 driver over the last decade. And you are just throwing them away and expecting this trio to be up to that level???

  3. matt33fl - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    What’s wrong with our RFR is Jack Roush. I believe that age and the life threatening injuries that he sustained has begun to take its toll on him. That and his stubborn, hard-line approach when it comes to sponsorship negotiations have over the years driven many companies away and have weakened the team. The sooner he hands ownership over to someone else the better.

    • indycarseries500 - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Exactly, Ford wanted to place Jeff Gordon at Roush. At the interview Jeff and his stepfather John Bickford asked if Ray Evernham could be the crew chief, Jack said no I pick the crew chief and they went to HMS where Rick Hendrick was fine with Ray being the crew chief and Ford lost Jeff Gordon because of Roush.

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