Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing have finally worked out a multi year extension to keep one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers with the team that gave him his start at this level a decade ago. We do not have many of the details yet, but the deal is for several years and it will keep Carl in the #99 car that he took over late in 2004 when Jeff Burton left the organization due to lack of sponsorship. In the last 8 years Carl has won 19 cup races, is currently leading the points, and established himself as the biggest threat to dethrone five time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson. Carl has also added 34 Nationwide series wins and a championship in NASCAR’s Triple A series.
This deal was complicated and took a long time to complete because of several factors. The first and foremost being sponsorship for Carl’s #99 is not complete for next year and beyond. In fact Roush Fenway Racing as a team has several sponsorship problems (teammates #6 David Ragan and #17 Matt Kenseth also have sponsor issues for the 2012 season). On top of that Ford Motor Company (Roush is the main Ford Motor Company Racing team) became involved and has given Carl an incentive program, as well as a Ford Motor Co. stock plan. That plan will come to fruition after year three of the new deal.
For Ford it is smart to lock up a guy like Carl. He has been very successful on the track, and has a very wide and diverse fan base. For Ford, who has had some trouble keeping their top tier guys racing for the Blue Oval, it is a big win. Carl Edwards is a big part of their marketing campaign, and at some point he will win a Sprint Cup title. 2011 may not be his year, but at some point he will get it done.