CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards were not the closest of teammates when both drove for Roush Fenway Racing.
The two could be teammates again as speculation mounts that Edwards could be leaving Roush to move to Joe Gibbs Racing. Kenseth joined the Gibbs organization last year after spending 13 years driving for Roush.
“Man, that’s not really my department. I haven’t really put any thought into that,” Kenseth said Friday when asked about Edwards.
Kenseth tried to switch the conversation to his need to get a win this season. He won seven races last season and finished second in the standings, but is winless heading into Saturday night’s $1 million Sprint All-Star race.
“I’ve been more trying to figure out how we can get back to Victory Lane, like my other teammates, so we’re qualified for the Chase or have a better chance of getting qualified for the Chase and just get back to form and running like we were last year,” Kenseth said. “I try pretty hard to stay away from all the rumors.”
Edwards is in the final year of a three-year contract extension he signed during the 2011 season. He was courted by Gibbs during that free agency, and is believed to be on their radar to drive a new fourth team next season.
Edwards refuses to publicly discuss his contract negotiations. Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark did not reply to a request for comment.
Edwards did, however, talk about the departure of longtime Roush engineer Chip Bolin, who left the team this week.
Edwards said nothing surprises him right now “because we’ve to shake things up. We’ve got to try different things. I hope it’s the right thing.”
“Chip has given so much to the company, I hope this is an opportunity for Roush Fenway Racing to get better,” he said. “I guess we’re willing to try about anything, and the magnitude of that change shows how much as a company everyone is dedicated to trying to figure this out.”
Edwards went winless in 2012 and missed the Chase. He made two trips to Victory Lane last season, but finished last in the 13-driver Chase field.
Edwards has one win this season and is currently ranked fifth in the Sprint Cup standings. Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are both winless, but Biffle is ninth in points.
Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, acknowledged that Edwards is deeply intertwined with the blue oval. It’s believed Ford offered incentives to keep Edwards with Roush in 2011, and the manufacturer features the driver in many of its marketing strategies.
But Allison would not discuss Edwards’ future.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Allison said. “You just have to take it day by day.”
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