During press conferences on Friday, several drivers were asked what they thought of this news and how it will affect them and their organizations.
Here is what they had to say:
Matt Kenseth, Driver of the #17 for Roush Fenway Racing
“I think whatever is best for Carl is what he should have decided to do and obviously after looking at everything he figures this is best for him. I think it’s good for the organization. Carl has been kind of the face for Roush Fenway it seems like the last few years at least, and he brings a lot of excitement and energy to the organization and, obviously, he runs really well and has a big fan and sponsor following. So I think it’s good for the team.
“As far as the 17 team, none of that has been a distraction for us, or I don’t think it directly effects how we run on the race track or anything like that. But I think for probably the 99 team and probably the engineering department, stuff like that, it’s probably a good thing because they’re not thinking about it or asking questions about it or worried about it. They can just think about winning races and championships, so it’s probably good for his group.”
Greg Biffle, Driver of the #16 for Roush Fenway Racing
“I didn’t know he had re-signed. He has? OK. This is the first I’ve heard of it. I think it’s great that he’s coming back to our company. I was a little skeptical, I suppose, whether he was going to figuring this is August already. I guess I’ve been through the whole thing and you’ve got to look at competitiveness and what other people have to offer and things like that, so he took his time and made a good decision I think. I haven’t really been at the shop, but I’m relieved because people won’t ask me about it anymore after today. That’s why I’m most relieved about it and to have him back as a teammate. He does a good job getting his car setup and helps. I think we all help each other. It’s been a big help this year. David Ragan is running much better and it really gives us another car to look at and get ideas from, so we all feed off each other. Some weekends everybody puts the 16 setup in their car and some weekends are split up and some weekends we go to the 99 setup and now we’re looking at what the 6 is doing as well, so we have a pretty good relationship within Roush of all the drivers providing something and Carl is no exception to that.”
David Ragan, Driver of the #6 for Roush Fenway Racing
“I’m glad that it’s just over. Steve Newmark and Jack and our management team are working on it (the deal with UPS) very diligently. They’ve also got Matt Kenseth’s car to work on finding a sponsor and then finalize the UPS program and our deal for next year, so now that Carl is signed, that can be put to rest and we can move on. I’m happy to see it. I’m glad it happened now. I wish it would have happened six weeks ago, but that was certainly the top priority of Roush over the last six weeks, in my opinion, and maybe now they can move on. All I can continue to do is what I need to do on the race track and the management at Roush will keep doing what they need to do to negotiate with UPS and look for some other sponsors as well.”
Denny Hamlin, Driver of the #11 for Joe Gibbs Racing
“Not really surprised. I talked to Joe (Gibbs) a little bit and he said that — I asked — you hear the rumors and you hear he is or he isn’t and I’m wondering really how close he is so I asked Coach (Gibbs) myself and he’s like ‘Trust me, if it ever got to that point I would let you know first.’ So, I knew that it never really had gotten very far along I don’t believe. Whether his intentions really were to leave or not it’s tough to say. Nobody knows but really him. For us, we were obviously interested in having him and things just didn’t work out.”
Kyle Busch, Driver of the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing
“I don’t think there’s any sense of disappointment. Certainly it would’ve been great to have him and certainly it’s great that Roush Racing gets to keep him. I don’t think there’s any hard feelings there. I think that’s a part of the negotiation process and how Carl (Edwards) felt like he wanted to handle things and where he ended up is where he ended up.”