Get the latest Carl Edwards news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Driver set to begin new chapter of career at Joe Gibbs Racing RELATED: Complete schedule for driver previews Team: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota Rank in final 2014 standings: 9th Wins: 2 ( Bristol Motor Speedway in March, Sonoma Raceway ) Year in photos: Recap Edwards's 2014 highlights MORE: Edwards discusses new team, Daytona with 120Sports.com Strides: Edwards placed his name among the first drivers to clinch a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, winning the fourth race of the season on a rainy day -- and night -- at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. It marked his first victory in the Tennessee track's springtime race and his first on the .533-mile oval since 2008. But Edwards also filled a void on his Sprint Cup resume at Sonoma Raceway in June with his first road course win in NASCAR's premier series. The triumph came even as rumors began to circulate about his impending departure from Roush Fenway Racing , speculation that was confirmed just a month later. Even with lame-duck status at the Jack Roush-owned team, Edwards pressed on, making it to the Eliminator 8 round of the Chase before watching the team's championship hopes expire at Phoenix International Raceway in the final cut before the season finale. "The highlights of the season were definitely Bristol and Sonoma -- Sonoma, in particular," Edwards said. "It was a great win, was really proud of it, and then our performance in the Chase, I thought we did a great job there." Setbacks: Despite of the pair of wins and the solid run into the new-look Chase's latter stages, Edwards' No. 99 suffered from a lack of oomph at tracks that used to be the team's sweet spot. The team endured erratic performances at intermediate-sized tracks, and the best Edwards and Co. could muster at Michigan International Speedway -- formerly a stronghold for car owner Jack Roush -- was an uncharacteristic pair of 23rd-place efforts. Though Edwards was able to survive two eliminations by avoiding major mistakes in the postseason, he registered just one top-five finish in the Chase -- a fifth-place in the Contender Round opener at Kansas Speedway . "The last few weeks were really tough, to be honest with you," Edwards said. "They're tough for a couple of reasons, but competitively we didn't have the speed that we needed and so for us to just keep digging down and making something out of those races, that was an amazing performance. My pit crew was basically flawless, (crew chief) Jimmy Fennig made perfect calls, I felt like I did a really good job, and at the end we just weren't fast enough. We weren't fast enough at Phoenix and that's the way it goes." Quoteworthy: "I'm very excited about what's coming, but I'm very proud of what we've done. In some ways, I feel like I'm stepping off of a ledge and I don't know what's down there. We haven't done anything yet in 2015. I know we have a lot of expectations and a lot of hopes, and now we've just got to do it." What's next: The biggest bombshell in the "silly season" of driver shifts came in August with Edwards' introduction as a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver for the 2015 season, changing gears after a 12-year association with Roush and Ford. When asked whether Gibbs' expansion with a start-from-scratch fourth team might dilute his performance, Edwards was quick to point out that the start-up nature of Stewart-Haas Racing 's No. 4 team didn't seem to hamper Kevin Harvick 's march to his first Sprint Cup championship. Edwards learned in December that he'll work with veteran crew chief Darian Grubb next year as part of a sweeping overhaul of JGR's competition personnel. He'll also have new teammates in Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth , the latter of which was a former stablemate of his with Roush Fenway. Shortly after NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas, Edwards took the opportunity to participate in a Goodyear tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway in an effort to become more familiar with his new team and manufacturer in light of NASCAR's ban on testing in 2015. Though he's short on experience with the Gibbs operation, Edwards said the alignment of new factors in the offseason has him setting lofty aspirations -- a Sprint Cup championship or else. "There is no other goal," Edwards said. "I know that personally, I've never been a better driver, I feel like the people I have around me couldn't be better, and I feel like we should go win the championship. That's our goal. That's what we plan on doing." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
There appears to be room for improvement between Toyota teams RELATED: Latest from Charlotte Media Tour CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Clint Bowyer disagreed with Kyle Busch 's style of delivery, but when Busch said the Toyota teams of Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing were "idiots" for not working as closely together as other alliances, Bowyer couldn't deny the importance of that type of collaboration in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing. The success of teams like Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing working together has provided a strong example to follow, with drivers from each of those four-car super teams claiming the past two championships and three of the past four. And like it or not, that could be putting more pressure on others to follow suit. "I wish we could go back to no simulation, no testing, show up with a group of guys and get the most out of a weekend," Bowyer said Tuesday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom. "Unfortunately, those days are over. ... The success, I'm afraid from here on out, is going to be in numbers." Those numbers grew when Joe Gibbs Racing expanded to four Cup cars for the 2015 season, adding veteran driver Carl Edwards to a team of Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth . Between JGR's four Toyotas and Michael Waltrip Racing 's two full-time cars, the teams appear to be better positioned to work together. But that's not what's happening, according to Busch. "I'm very vocal about it because I feel like we're idiots by not continuing to work in the right direction in order to put our companies together and do the right things for Toyota and for all of us collectively," Busch said Monday. "Nothing has happened where Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing are going to collectively work together as in-depthly as Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are." Bowyer admitted HMS and SHR are setting the benchmark for team alliances, because, as he says, you're racing against eight cars and their collective information when you take on those teams on a weekly basis. So what is it that MWR and JGR can do better? "No doubt, more data points would be potentially more helpful," MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman said. "That's something that if we can work with our fellow Toyota teams to collaborate in that regard, we'd certainly like to do that. It's really a three-legged stool between MWR, JGR and Toyota TRD as they call themselves. That's kind of how we're organized amongst ourselves as we look at all of those three points and what can you do to raise the level of those three together." Michael Waltrip agreed with Kauffman that more could be done between the two teams. "Could we collaborate on more? Yes, and I think that's ultimately the goal," Waltrip said. "I think everyone sees the success that organizations have by working together." But Waltrip pointed out that the super-team approach isn't the only way to reach success in Sprint Cup . "Well, then you look at Roger's (Penske) two cars and they do pretty good and there's only two of them," Waltrip said. "We feel like that there's going to be some advantages by collaborating with Gibbs more and we continue to work toward that." Of course Bowyer, in his own tongue-in-cheek way, had a suggestion for better cooperation between the teams. "If we could get Kyle to work better with us, I think it would be beneficial for sure," Bowyer said with a laugh. MORE: Bowyer on Gordon: 'It's kind of like a divorce' FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
All-star lineup of talent includes Jeff Burton and Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In the time since it was announced in July 2013 that NBC Sports would be returning to its coverage of NASCAR, a snowball effect-type buzz has been building around the media group's Stamford, Connecticut, studios that would make Winter Storm Juno jealous. With its first season of Sprint Cup Series coverage in nearly a decade barreling towards us, the buzz reached a paramount on Tuesday when the incoming, all-star team was introduced during the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour. "Everybody at NBC Sports is thrilled to be back in the sport," said Jeff Behnke, NBC Sports Vice President, NASCAR. "It's been eight and a half long years and I can tell you that the buzz around all of our production people, our engineers and our talent, sales, marketing; every group. We are absolutely thrilled to be back in the sport." Following Behnke's introduction, an eye-popping promo video for NBC's coverage (which begins Fourth of July weekend with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway ) was played, featuring enough high-throttle footage of raucous racing and wrecking to get the heart pumping -- and the season hasn't even started yet. "I wish you could go up to Stamford, Connecticut, and walk through the halls," said Kyle Petty, former driver and NBC newcomer. "They are truly excited to have this property; it's crazy. With the Premier League, with NHL, with NFL, some of the other properties that they have, the whole building there's a buzz, and there was a buzz building all last year. "That's the exciting part for me. Sometimes when you drove a race car, all it took was a different paint job on the car and you got excited when you showed up at the race track. Or you put on a different uniform, a different sponsor and you were excited. It was like being a kid again. This group is excited to come back. It's a new look, it's a different feel and I think they're going to bring some stuff this year that hopefully will excite (the media) but I know it's going to excite the fans." Of course, live racing on television can only take you so far without a group of highly talented individuals to call the action, so NBC has arranged a star-studded crew to bring it all home. Media veteran Rick Allen will helm the lap-by-lap duties while 21-time Sprint Cup Series winner Jeff Burton and former Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 crew chief Steve Letarte will join him for color commentary. Other on-air talent includes Marty Snider -- who was part of the original NBC coverage from 2001 to 2006 -- NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, Krista Voda, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro, Dave Burns and Rutledge Wood. Motorsports journalists Nate Ryan and Dustin Long have also signed on for editorial coverage. For Burton, who was in the car for four races just a season ago with Michael Waltrip Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing , this whole "being a media member" thing is a completely new, heavier experience. "I've put on some weight," Burton said. "The media gets fed well, so that's been an issue for me. Jeff has done an incredible job of putting a group of people together. This is just like building a team, it really is. It's the same as being part of a race team. We have a goal that's different than winning races, but it's about doing the best broadcast we can and it's really been fun to get to know everybody." In addition to the studio in Stamford where the flagship show "NASCAR America" will be broadcast from, additional support will come from an NBC Sports studio in Charlotte, along with a smaller studio at Burton's own late model garage -- appropriately titled "Burton's Garage." While the long-time driver is more focused on the culinary aspects of being a member of the media, Letarte -- an employee of Hendrick for two decades -- may find that his biggest obstacle is objectivity. Even so, it's an aspect that he's looking forward to. "For 20 years, I've basically looked at one car and one car only,” Letarte, most recently crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr ., said. "…You're looking at one car and that car is your whole day. The opportunity to step back and see the entire race unfold, all 43 competitors, the different strategies; it's going to be nice to not have to cheer for one car but to cheer for a good race and to see what competitor can bring his best game that day. That's a big difference for me." The commitment to NASCAR that NBC is making cannot be understated, and it really began last year. The outlet found ways to marry motorsports into its coverage of other sports and entertainment, whether it’s seeing Jimmie Johnson race Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Snider doing a piece with Johnson and his love of bicycles for the Tour de France or Carl Edwards teaming with Kentucky Speedway for a Triple Crown promotion. Dale Jarrett will also have an upcoming segment on the Golf Channel to showcase his links knowledge. WATCH: Johnson race Fallon in a Cooler Scooter Race On Friday, we’ll see the newest installment of cross-promotion when the NASCAR Gridiron Challenge airs at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN, pairing drivers with former NFL players for a 20-lap race and an NFL skills-type challenge. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
After rejecting 'easy' decision to leave, veteran embraces team's new outlook Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For all the change that Roush Fenway Racing has undergone entering the 2015 NASCAR season, Greg Biffle remains the organization's constant, a cornerstone driver who first started his career with team owner Jack Roush in the Camping World Truck Series in 1998. But with the team firmly in rebuilding mode after its recent slide toward substandard performance, Biffle shed light on just how close he came to following the path of two prominent former teammates out the door. Biffle plumbed the depths of the company's recent low points Wednesday during the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom, saying that he had fielded offers from "great teams" to drive elsewhere. Ultimately, the 45-year-old driver made the choice to stay, in an effort to help lead the team out of its dark days. "You know, loyalty in this world only goes so far," Biffle said. "… I felt like I had to wrestle with the decision on whether I leave or not. It makes it easy to leave, it's easy to kick a guy when he's down, right? So we were having tremendous trouble last year, and I've been there through three of these cycles, and we're not going to sugar-coat it -- last year, we were at the bottom of the heap compared to the teams. We just were, and no light at the end of the tunnel, and so it would've been an easy way for me to leave at that point. "But knowing that the stock is at the lowest price that it's been at, sometimes that's the opportunity. It's going to go up. It doesn't have to, but logic says it's going to go up, and so I wrestled with it and sat long and hard about it and said, 'I want to be the guy that brings this organization back out of where we're at. We're in a bad place. I could jump ship right now.' And I decided I didn't want to do that. I was going to give it another opportunity." Biffle's tenure with Roush Fenway includes an enviable collection of career highlights -- 19 victories in the top-level Sprint Cup Series and championships in both the XFINITY Series (2002) and the truck circuit (2000). Even though he managed to qualify for last season's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, his losing streak stretched to 57 -- nearing the longest dry spell of his career. Only Carl Edwards won races at the Sprint Cup level for RFR last year, and he departed in the offseason to restart his career at Joe Gibbs Racing . That move followed a similar career shift by Matt Kenseth -- another longtime Roush Fenway competitor -- just two years earlier. Biffle could've been the third domino to fall, but even with all the frayed emotions, the connections he'd established over the years kept him from severing those ties. "I stayed for relationships and things that I had built for a long period of time that I really cared about, and that was one of my decisions that really weighed on me to stay," Biffle said. "After I elected to stay, other people didn't and so I was left holding the bag a little bit, but I can't say enough about the partnerships that we've created since then. "I can talk forever about what's gone on, and I hate to keep -- so to speak, the cliché -- beat the dead horse. We all recognized the position we were in last year. We were drowning and we were trying to get to the surface, and it was difficult on all of us. All the relationships were all taxed, between me and my crew chief, the other drivers, the team engineers, the simulation group, and then fabrication, the guys hanging the (car) bodies. We were all taxed because we were not performing." Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark admitted that the offseason mission of rebuilding the team's stature in the sport had come with some soul searching. The organization has made plenty of offseason strides to meet the goals -- primarily through digging to the root cause of what went wrong in 2014 and closing the gap on its rivals in the technology department. But it's also revamped its mindset in more subtle ways, freshening the look of the shop and bringing it up to more state-of-the-art standards. Even though the overhaul has been dramatic, Newmark said losing Biffle was a change the team couldn't afford to withstand. "It was critical," Newmark said. "Greg and I spent a lot of time talking. He was solicited by a lot of teams, which I would expect with a driver of that caliber. After a lot of the discussions, I think he felt like Roush was the right fit for him and the right place, and he and Jack had some unfinished business. But he brings an element that we wouldn't have had without him. We have a lot of other talented drivers, but none of them has had the history with both our organization and the championships, so he's been fantastic." Though Biffle cracked in his opening remarks that Jack Roush, 72, had been racing Ford products since 1901, it's clear the team has begun to skew younger as it enters its 28th year in NASCAR. Biffle will race alongside third-year driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., 27, and 23-year-old Trevor Bayne , promoted to his first full season in the Sprint Cup Series. Change isn't all bad, as Biffle was quick to mention the championship fruits of the first-year partnership between Kevin Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing last season. Taken a step further, Biffle said Roush Fenway's expectations equal those of the title-winning No. 4 team. "We're all that confident," Biffle said. "We all feel that good that that's the position we're in now. Everyone's so excited about the way our company looks, about how everybody's getting along and how excited everybody is to work together again, and on a common goal. We all feel really good." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ninth-place finisher, Carl Edwards , gives a speech at the Sprint Cup Series Awards.
Social mosaic encapsulates reaction from NASCAR Nation RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Carl Edwards and Joe Gibbs Racing officially announced on Thursday that Edwards would join the JGR organization next season. Check out the social mosaic below for unique images, and join in the conversation yourself.
Can JGR driver build off last season's run to the Championship 4? RELATED: Full schedule of driver previews Team: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota Rank in final 2014 standings: Third Wins: One ( Talladega Superspeedway in May) Year in photos: Recap Hamlin's 2014 season Strides: Denny Hamlin carried momentum from his victory in the 2013 season finale into Speedweeks, winning the Sprint Unlimited exhibition and one of the two Budweiser Duel qualifying races ahead of the Daytona 500 . He finished just short of winning the Great American Race with a runner-up finish, but applied the No. 11 team's knack for restrictor-plate tracks to post his first career victory at Talladega Superspeedway , clinching a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Once in the postseason, Hamlin was able to advance through all three rounds of the Chase's new format, landing one of four title-eligible spots in the Sprint Cup Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . He led 50 laps but wound up seventh in the finale -- third among the championship quartet -- when a gamble on pit strategy unraveled in the late stages. "We gave it our best run," Hamlin said. "I mean, we put together really our best race all year, that final race, and gave those guys a run when we really hadn't had the speed to race with them all year. We gave it an effort and just came up short. Really proud of what we were able to accomplish this year, even though it was somewhat of a down year for our team." Setbacks: A freak eye injury in March forced Hamlin to seek medical care at Auto Club Speedway for the second straight year on race day. In 2013, a tangle with Joey Logano left Hamlin with a broken back that sidelined him for four races and part of a fifth; in 2014, a sliver of metal in his left eye forced him out, just an hour before the green flag. A medical exemption by NASCAR officials allowed him to remain Chase-eligible as long as he met all other criteria. The new Chase qualification rules also benefited Hamlin later in the season, but the No. 11 team still felt heavy repercussions in the process. After a post-race technical infraction was found at Indianapolis Motor Speedway , NASCAR issued stiff penalties by stripping the team of 75 points, suspending crew chief Darian Grubb for six races and fining him $125,000. Injuries and penalties notwithstanding, Hamlin said after the season that he drove most of the year facing a performance deficit compared to his front-running rivals. With Joe Gibbs Racing expanding to a four-team operation with the addition of Carl Edwards to the 2015 driver roster, Hamlin said he hopes the benefits of additional information sharing can help get the organization over the hump. "You've just got to get better in all aspects, and I think we've always just been kind of that next-tier team, realistically," Hamlin said. "We can compete for race wins, week in and week out, but the championships have escaped us through mechanical stuff, which we've worked out, or this year it was just our cars weren't fast enough to compete with those guys. However, we gave ourselves a great chance that last race to really sneak a championship away from 'em, but overall we've just got to get better in more areas, and I think going to the fourth team will allow us to do that." Quoteworthy: "A lot of ups and downs -- it's been a tough year to start the year missing a race. We didn't have the tools to win a lot of races throughout the year, but we got better and we got better when it really counted. It wasn't for a lack of effort. Everyone gave 100 percent to give me the best car they could this weekend. It just wasn't enough to beat those guys." -- Hamlin, moments after finishing seventh in the championship race at Homestead-Miami. What's next: Hamlin's three-year run with Grubb drew to a close after a dramatic shake-up to JGR's crew chief lineup in the offseason. The new assignments for 2015 mean that Hamlin will pair with Dave Rogers, who served as crew chief for Kyle Busch on the No. 18 Toyota team in Sprint Cup since 2010. What won't change is the team's ultra-fast pit crew, often credited as one of the sport's best. Rogers and Hamlin have worked together with success in what is now called the NASCAR XFINITY Series (seven wins together), and Rogers' tenure with Busch produced 13 Sprint Cup wins over a five-year stretch. Hamlin's 2014 finish was the third near-miss in his quest for a career-defining breakthrough championship at NASCAR's highest level. Though times are changing at JGR with its expansion and juggling of crew chiefs, Hamlin brings high hopes that the new combination with Rogers will bear fruit in 2015. "He's well-regarded within our sport amongst other crew chiefs and I know what he can do," Hamlin said. "He's been with the No. 11 FedEx team before. This is his second time around, but me and him have never worked together in the Cup Series. I have driven his cars during tests and been really fast and comfortable with them, so I'm very excited about what we can do." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Edwards : 'Anything less than a championship will be a disappointment'
Carl Edwards wins the Food City 500 closing out an interesting day at Bristol Motor Speedway.