After weeks of agonizing over whether to stay or leave, NASCAR’s biggest free agent has decided his current home is where the heart is. Edwards re-signed with Roush Fenway Racing Thursday, ending months of speculation on whether he would bolt after the season and partner with rival Joe Gibbs Racing and their Toyotas.
“I sincerely appreciate the amazing opportunity that Jack Roush has given me in this sport and am honored to race for him,” said Edwards in a press release sent just within the past hour, announcing a deal that begins in 2012. “As an organization, Roush Fenway provides the resources I need to win, and as a driver, that’s the most important thing. We’re having a fun season on the race track as we’re leading the points and in great position for the Chase. That’s the result of a lot of hard work from the men and women at Roush Fenway, Ford Motor Company and Roush Yates Engines. I really enjoy competing with this group and looking forward to continuing that relationship into the future.”
Financial terms were not disclosed within the multi-year agreement, but multiple sources claimed Ford “upped the ante” in the final hours to ensure the deal got done.
“We are pleased with Carl’s vote of confidence in Roush Fenway and Ford,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “This signals he believes he is with the right team and the right automaker to win races and championships. Now we can continue to focus on winning the 2011 championship.”
“Carl Edwards has achieved a level of success on and off track that would put him at the top of the list for any race team,” added Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. “Carl and the No. 99 team are having a terrific season again this year, and we’re thrilled that our relationship will continue for many more.”
Sponsorship was not announced; the team is working on a multi-year deal with AFLAC to keep them in the fold as primary sponsor. Roush Fenway Racing is the only Sprint Cup team Edwards has ever known, racking up 19 victories in 249 starts with nine poles, 131 top-10 finishes and only 18 DNFs. He’s got a runner-up points finish to his credit from 2008 and now will go, full-bore after Jimmie Johnson and others for the 2011 title.
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