Carl Edwards has denied that he will switch from Roush Fenway Racing to Penske Racing for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
The 33-year-old American is in the first year of his current deal with Roush, which was signed following lengthy negotiations last year. Following rumors of a switch as a result of AJ Allmendinger's firing by Penske earlier this season, Edwards has now stated categorically that he is staying put.
"First of all I haven't discussed that ever with anyone at Penske," Edwards said. "Two, I'm contracted to drive the 99 car [for Roush]. I'm very excited about next season. That's what's happening, in case anybody wants to know. I wouldn't mention it except that it's gotten bad enough that sponsors and folks are asking me about it now.
"I guess I have to try to address that now and make sure you know I'll be driving the 99 car next year for sure."
Edwards finished second in the Cup standings last year after tying on points with champion Tony Stewart, but losing out on the title because he had won less races. He has not won a race all year and is currently 12th in the standings, outside the Chase for the Championship spots. Meanwhile, his Roush teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth have both already secured their spots in the 10-race shootout.
Additionally, he was forced to swap crew chiefs due to health problems that led to his longtime right-hand man Bob Osborne being moved into a new position at Roush. Chad Norris is now performing the role.
Edwards admitted that with only 10 places available in the Chase based on points, and two "wild card" spots open to drivers outside the top 10, but with the most wins to their name, the pressure is on to deliver in the next two races.
"There is a real sense of urgency," Edwards added. "One thing about last season; 2008 was a good example, and last season, two different ways to approach a championship run. In 2008 I made some mistakes and our team didn't perform as well as we should have in the Chase.
"Then last season when all the pressure was on, it felt like the weight of the world focused on us, all of this pressure, and we performed nearly perfectly. We didn't slip up. We took what was given to us. We didn't lose our cool. I think that was a good exercise to go through."