After the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway Carl Edwards will say good-bye to Roush-Fenway Racing. Edwards will be reuniting at Joe Gibbs Racing with former RFR teammate Matt Kenseth who made the move to JGR in 2013.
Edwards who failed to advanced into the Chase past Phoenix, ended his chance of earning a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with Roush-Fenway before leaving, Sunday will mark his 373rd and final race for the only Sprint Cup team he has ever driven for. After falling out of championship contention winning Sunday’s race would be the next best thing for Edwards’ final race with RFR.
In 2011, Edwards while vying for the championship, tied for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title, with the title going to the driver with the most victories, Tony Stewart had five compared to Edwards’ one victory. Both drivers went out and race the way each needed to ending with Stewart and Edwards finished the Ford Eco-Boost 400 in the two top spots, Stewart won but Edwards led the most laps of the race, causing the tie.
Going into Homestead, Edwards has two Sprint Cup victories in 2008 and 2010, as well as a Nationwide Series race in 2008. In nine races at Homestead Edwards has an average start of 10.6, an average finish of 5.8 and has the most laps led for active drivers with 560 laps.
“Even though our run at the championship is over, I am really looking forward to Homestead,” Edwards said in his weekly media release. “It has been a great race track for us. I love racing there.”
“It’s Ford Championship Week and I want to get a win for Jack Roush and Jimmy Fennig and all of my guys, because they have worked so hard this year. They did the impossible. We made the Chase and we have two wins.”
“(Plus) we held on for nine races of the Chase with a shot of winning the championship. I am really proud of every one of them. I want to give the performance to finish the season the way that everyone deserves. That’s what I am going to do.”
“Jimmy and I have talked and he is as fired up as ever and hopefully we can go and do a good job.”
Along with Edwards his crew chief Jimmy Fennig will be hanging up his hat after 30 years as a crew chief, first in the American Speed Association, where Mark Martin and Fennig won a championship together in 1986) followed by NASCAR, where Fennig won the first Chase for the Sprint Cup (known as the Chase for the Nextel Cup) in 2004 with driver Kurt Busch. But even though Fennig will no longer be a crew chief he is expected to remain with RFR as a consultant for the organization.
Ten years ago after winning the 2004 Championship title Jack Roush said, “Jimmy Fennig is an unsung hero at Roush Racing. He doesn’t do things that create a personal image away from the driver or away from the sponsor or away from the team.”
“He’s the trooper that’s back there doing everything that he can everyday.”
Sunday’s race will mark the final race for Edwards and Fennig together at RFR. The Ford Eco-Boost 400 will be televised, Sunday, on ESPN beginning at 3 p.m. ET.