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Carl Edwards Needs to Earn His Money in 2014

January 4th, 2014 at 10:44 PM
By Clayton Caldwell

Roush Fenway Racing had a tough 2013 season. The organization had some struggles and only won three races which is the lowest the team has had in several seasons. Carl Edwards finished a disappointing Chase off in the 13th position. Greg Biffle finished ninth in the points as no Roush Fenway Racing driver really competed for the Championship in 2013. Rookie driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr finished the season 19th in the standings with just three top ten finishes.

'IMG_4413' photo (c) 2012, Parker Anderson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Not a lot was expected from the two time Nationwide Series champion Stenhouse. He was in his rookie season and definitely had his struggles in 2013 but also showed some signs of progress towards the end of the season. Biffle, on the other hand, struggled throughout the season winning just one race in June at Michigan. Other than that Biffle had just three top five finishes all season. Carl Edwards won two races, the February race at Phoenix and the final race of the regular season at Richmond International Raceway.

It was an especially tough season for the group since former driver Matt Kenseth moved to Joe Gibbs Racing and had the best season of his career. Kenseth won seven races and finished runner-up in the point standings to Jimmie Johnson which was far better than any Roush Fenway Racing car did. Kenseth also made some comments about his former organization that wasn't too promising for the team. It was a tough year for the Roush Fenway bunch. 

When you think about why Kenseth left the organization you have to look at Carl Edwards. According to reports Edwards was highly coveted by Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012 and Gibbs was willing to pay Edwards a lot of money for him to come over to his organization. Edwards got a deal from Roush Fenway Racing that was reported to be somewhere near $20 million a season. A lot of people felt that Edwards' stiff contract was part of the reason why Kenseth could not be retained by Roush Fenway Racing

If that fact is indeed true you have to look at Carl Edwards and think he has to earn his money in 2014. Teammate Greg Biffle is in the final year of his contract and soon will be on the wrong side of 40. With Stenhouse approaching his second full season in the Sprint Cup Series you have to look at Edwards as the most stable thing at the organization in 2014. 

With the amount of money he is making, his age and the position he is at at Roush Fenway Racing, Edwards has to have a big season in 2014. Not only for Edwards' career but also for Roush Fenway Racing. If Biffle is out at RFR at the end of 2014 the team will be looking to replace him. Sponsors want a driver who can win races and win championships. If Biffle gets a better offer with a better team he could look elsewhere for the 2015 season. If not and Biffle resigns you still have to sell sponsorship as Biffle's sponsor 3M will also enter their final year of their contract with Roush Fenway Racing in 2014. 

If Edwards can put together a solid season it would show that the organization is still able to compete for championships and makes the other teams in that organization attractive for other drivers and sponsors. That makes Edwards' season the most of important of his career so far. 

Tags: Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Motorsports, ricky stenhouse jr, roush fenway racing

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