Roger Penske Emphasizes No Interest In Carl EdwardsBy Chris Knight
Penske, who is at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for the NASCAR / IndyCar double-header told CATCHFENCE.com that Team Penske is currently not in a position to field a third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in 2015, despite the chatter.
“There’s no interest,” he said. “We don’t have the sponsorship to do a third full-time team and he’s under contract with Roush Fenway Racing. It doesn’t make sense.”
While The Captain was quick to shoot down the speculation, the buzz continues to circulate where Edwards will exactly go should he choose not to renew with Roush Fenway Racing, the place he has called home in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2004.
In retrospect, Penske may have a lot to lose – even if he would find the funding to welcome the 22-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner to his pristine palace.
The move of a potent Ford Racing driver from one Ford team to another wouldn’t be subtle, especially to a team of similar caliber. Furthermore, the expansion to a third-full time team seems like an undertaking for a team that is still getting acquainted with Ford since rekindling their relationship in 2013.
Not to mention, if Team Penske was to welcome the Columbia, Missouri native aboard, it has the potential to re-spark an immediate rivalry between Edwards and Keselowski. Don’t discount just the defining moment at Talladega (Ala.) Superspedway in 2009, where contact between the two sent Edwards into the Catchfence and Keselowski thundering to his first career win.
Fast-forward to Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway in March 2010, an incident 41 laps into the race sent Edwards into the wall off the bumper of Keselowski’s then No. 12 Dodge. Just three laps to go in the same race, retaliation from Edwards sent Keselowski careening through the air, hitting the SAFER barrier wall on his roof. If you think the two have forgotten these incidents, think again.
Despite the lack of a championship title, Edwards does though bring immediate respect and leadership to any organization. On the flip side, however, age may be something to consider. He’ll be 35 in two months and Team Penske is fielding rides for drivers 30 years old and younger. Though bringing him over to Team Penske without a doubt has its advantages, but at what cost?
Keselowski, the 2012 Cup champion finds himself in a perfect comfort zone now, a leader and a mentor – imagine that changing with someone like Edwards around. It would be a damning blow to him.
In hindsight though, Edwards knows what he wants and it may not be with Roush Fenway Racing or Team Penske. Should a lucrative opportunity arise, expect Edwards to consider it, even at the expense of Ford.
Follow Chris Knight on Twitter @Knighter01.
Article Tags: Carl Edwards, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NSCS, Roger Penske, Team Penske