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After it was announced that he would not return to Roush Fenway Racing after this year, there was speculation that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards would go to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015. The rumors were confirmed on Tuesday when JGR announced that Edwards will drive for them next year.
Edwards, who has been with Roush Fenway Racing for his entire 11-year career in the Cup Series, will drive the number 19 Toyota Camry for JGR. He becomes the fourth driver at JGR, joining Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth, who was Edwards’ teammate when he was at Roush. ARRIS Group, Inc. will sponsor Edwards for 17 races next year, with an announcement on sponsorship for the remaining races still to come.
No decision on who will be the crew chief for Edwards has been made yet, according to NASCAR.com.
At the announcement, Edwards said that this is a big day for him and his career and that he’s looking forward to next year.
"For me, obviously right now my focus is still to go win the championship in the 99 Ford for Jack Roush and my career as a driver, for 10 years I've worked as hard as I can, everyone has worked as hard as they can to go win championships,” Edwards said, Yahoo Sports notes. “And that is my goal."
Edwards continued, "I felt like at this time in my life and career a change might be something that would let me reach that goal. I was very fortunate and humbled by the number of teams and people, the folks that I talked to. Had some amazing conversations and honestly had to pinch myself ... but looking across the landscape of the sport I think everyone up here has spoken to Joe and J.D. [Gibbs] and the organization Joe Gibbs Racing and for all the good things everyone has said I'm very excited to work with them."
Edwards, along with the rest of Roush Fenway Racing, have struggled this season. Despite the struggles, Edwards has two wins and five top 10 finishes this season and will make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, according to USA Today. In 360 career Cup starts, he has 23 wins and has finished in the top five in points five times, including runner-up in 2008 and 2011.
JGR also announced that Daniel Suarez will drive for them full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and part-time in the Camping World Truck Series. Suarez races in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series as well as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
Suarez has four wins and six top fives in the Mexico Toyota series and two wins and four top fives in the K&N East series, according to ESPN. He is the current points leader in the Mexico Toyota series.
image courtesy of R. O'Neil/INFphoto.com