Carl Edwards briefly explored free agency before deciding to stay with Roush Fenway Racing for the next several years.
Edwards said Friday he signed a multiple-year contract extension to continue driving the No. 99 Ford, a decision that takes NASCAR’s most sought-after free agent off the market.
“I’m staying with Roush,” Edwards said. “I looked at everything and I talked to everybody and, for me, the number one thing is looking into the future and saying, 'Where can I win the most races and have the most success?’ I just feel like for me, personally, this is where I want to be for the near future.”
With 10 career Cup victories, including three this year, Edwards topped the list of drivers available at the end of this season. Now Tony Stewart is presumably in the mix, with the two-time Cup champion testing the market a full year before his deal with Joe Gibbs Racing expires.
But Edwards didn’t want to wait to see how the Stewart situation unfolds, even if it meant the No. 20 Toyota eventually opened up.
For him, it was about loyalty to a program that signed him to a Truck Series ride in 2003, then made him a star when Edwards was promoted to the Cup level with 13 races left in the 2004 season. He’s also the reigning Nationwide Series champion.
With Edwards off the market and Greg Biffle adamant he’ll stay at Roush Fenway Racing, the attention turns to Martin Truex Jr. and his status at Dale Earnhardt Inc.
DEI has an option for 2009 on Truex, but the language of the contract is complex and it makes the option somewhat mutual. He said Friday that discussions with the team just began this past week.
“I’m not really 100 percent sure what the deal is right now,” Truex said Friday.
Truex, who raced to his first career victory last season and made the Chase for the championship, is 17th in the standings with a pair of top-10 finishes. He said he’s happy at DEI, but not rushing into talks about next season or a long-term extension.