Edwards says money wasn’t issue in decision
Why did Carl Edwards stay at Roush Fenway Racing? Edwards isn’t exactly going to say.
|Carl Edwards played Joe Gibbs Racing and the NASCAR media like a fiddle to get more money out of Ford and Roush|
As coy as he was in talking about his negotiations with the NASCAR Cup series organization, Edwards was equally coy on the details about why he stayed at Roush Fenway, which the current points leader said is where he’d perform best.
Joe Gibbs Racing had made a strong push to sign Edwards but came up empty as Edwards announced Thursday he would remain where he’s spent his entire six-plus-year Cup career.
“I looked at a lot of things but at the end of the day, our negotiations and our deals and the things I look at competitively, those are private matters,” Edwards said Friday following practice at Pocono Raceway.
Edwards wouldn’t comment on speculation regarding how much his contract was worth but said the rumored numbers ($8 million salary a year) are not accurate. He also said he just needed time to make the decision and there were no last-minute moves that swayed him.
“From the beginning of this, I said [to myself], ‘All right, what would I do if money weren’t a factor and what would I do if I didn’t care what one person thought of my decision.’ … The decision was made under those thoughts,” Edwards said.
“That is what made this more simple for me, and that’s how I came to the conclusion I came to. Whenever I’d start to feel that pressure from the outside, I’d think, ‘Let’s get back to the basics. Where can I win the most championships.’”
While the Roush Fenway camp was elated, the Joe Gibbs camp lost out on a chance to expand to four teams with one of the sport’s superstars.
“I’m not really surprised,” JGR driver Denny Hamlin said. “You hear the rumors and that he is or isn’t [moving], and I’m wondering how really close he is, so I asked [team owner] Coach [Joe Gibbs] myself, and he’s like, ‘Trust me, if it ever got to that point, I would let you know first.’
“So I knew it never really got very far along. Whether his intentions were really to leave or not, it’s tough to say. Nobody knows but ... him. For us, we were obviously interested in having him and it just didn’t work out.”
Roush had said Thursday that Ford had offered an rare incentive and stock package to Edwards but recanted on that a little bit Friday. He said he didn’t have first-hand knowledge of Ford’s personal services contract with Edwards.
“The one thing that Carl and I did not have a discussion about in any point in the negotiations or considerations was money,” Roush said. “Money was not a factor from my side, from Roush Fenway’s side and from what I can see, it was not a factor from Carl’s side.”
Edwards said there were no last-minute changes from Ford that swayed his decision.
“My deal with Ford is I believe in the company and believe in the products they make,” he said. “… There was no last-minute influx of money [by anyone] or anything like that. That is a false assumption.” Scenedaily.com