Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 NASCAR Silly Season: What about Carl Edwards to JGR and Joey Logano to RFR – The moves would help both drivers in there future success in the Cup Series. UPDATE

As the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season nears the half way point, this is the time of the year that rumors and speculation begins to ramp up on who is going to go where in 2012 and beyond.

However unlike in past seasons where major drivers have made big moves like in 2007 where Dale Earnhardt Jr., joined Hendrick Motorsports for 2008, in 2008, Tony Stewart on the move to his own team, Stewart-Haas Racing for 2009.

Or even more, in 2009, where Jamie McMurray which ended up at EGR for 2010 and of course last year (2010), where Kasey Kahne that right now is at Red Bull Racing, but signed a deal with Hendrick Motorsports for the #5 ride in 2012.

For 2012, no big named drivers look to be making any big moves for there future. I mean, Clint Bowyer says him staying at RCR is his number 1 choice. I haven’t heard too much in the way of Ryan Newman, it looks like Stewart-Haas Racing will be his home for another few years as well as Juan Montoya, he looks to be re-signing with EGR.

Of course when it comes to Montoya, I don’t believe another Cup Series car owner really wants him besides Chip Ganassi. Otherwise, if Ganassi doesn’t re-sign Montoya, I don’t see him staying in NASCAR and that maybe for the best.

So that really leave Mark Martin as a wild card as he has to leave Hendrick because Kahne is taking over his seat, but I have no idea where Martin will go other than maybe owning or driving for the new owners of the former Red Bull NASCAR team. Or he could go full-time Nationwide or Truck racing for Turner Motorsports.

And Brian Vickers, just leave him with a giant question mark as there are no fourth seat rides available and unless EGR decides to open there door, I see him returning to the Nationwide Series or Truck Series. I know one thing, Vickers, wouldn’t be going to Stewart-Haas Racing.

So that leaves Carl Edwards and Joey Logano and while it appears that both drivers will be re-signing with there current race teams, personally and this is my opinion, I believe that Carl Edwards would actually be better joining Joe Gibbs Racing and either driving a fourth car or the #20 Toyota.

And Joey Logano would be better signing with Roush-Fenway Racing and driving the #99 Ford. Both drivers are at the heights of their NASCAR careers and need to really make a move now to be on solid footing for 2012 and beyond to be championship contenders.

Now I’m sure that Edwards can win at RFR, as so far in 2011, they are the strongest team and favorites to contend for the Cup Series Championship right now.

However as much as Logano owes Joe Gibbs a lot for his NASCAR career, he needs to find a new ride. He is simply not getting what he needs at Joe Gibbs Racing period. He has been in the #20 Home Depot Toyota since 2009 and has one win to show for it. And I was there at NHMS for his first Cup Series win sitting in the grandstands.

I know Logano and Zippy are working hard to make things happen, but I truly believe a change in teams would really help and to me since RCR is most likely full unless Bowyer leaves, Hendrick is full period, that only leave Roush-Fenway Racing and they have a talent of working with up and coming drivers to get them to winning races.

As for a ride at RFR, well either Carl Edwards would leave to JGR or David Regan would leave in order for Logano to find a home there. The questions is would Joey Logano even consider leaving JGR at the end of the 2011 season?

But as much as that sounds good, namely Edwards to JGR and Logano to RFR, that is highly unlikely to happen and most of the drivers will stay where they are.

But in the case of Edwards, he has set a dead line of Sept. 18th to finish his contracts up. So we don’t have too long to wait, but I think Edwards is looking for something at RFR and while its most likely not money, it is something that takes time to work out the details.


Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

UPDATE - 7/4/2011: Last night on WindTunnel, Mark Martin said he has no interest in ownership of a race team. I really don't know where NASCAR will see Martin in 2012 and beyond. I can only imagine that Martin will be driving for a few more years and than joining or staying at a race team in a non-driving role such as a consultant role. I personally would like to see Mark Martin driving for a few more years at least, he can get it done on the race track for sure.

But if I had to guess where Martin would be in 2012, I would say him helping Red Bull or another team get either back to or into a winning way by driving for 2-3 years and then working with the team after that and help them continue that effect. Sky seems to be the limit right now for him. I could even see the Nationwide Series or Truck Series as an option.