Has the move to Daniel Suarez been proving it was the right decision? A lot has been happening in our sport this year from new sponsorship of the series to drivers “stepping” away from the sport like Carl Edwards and the now announcement of Dale Jr. retiring at years end.
If you listen on Sundays or read different sites stories others are going to argue what I am writing.
The announcement of Carl Edwards came within weeks of the running of the Daytona 500. Everybody was talking and speculating. Is it heath related, is it off track issues the list goes on and on. I how ever I was speculative of what the true reason was for his departure so abruptly from the sport he loved and worked so hard to be a part of.
A few weeks later and lots of articles latter the true reason would emerge and it was one that multiple people including my self were thinking but just needed conformation. As most know the sport of NASCAR is a money driven sport from sponsors to winnings to car owners the pockets run deep. If you follow my writing last year I wrote a story in regards to sponsors and who they were loyal to the driver the car or the team. Well as most know by know this was a classic example of the driver.
As reported Arris a communication company, the major sponsor for Joe Gibbs and Carl Edwards. Reportedly Arris who came to JGR with Suarez bought out Carl Edwards contract to have him step aside or JGR would have to look for new sponsorship for Carl when Arris wanted to make the move to cup.
Obviously this decision was money driven. How ever many think that It was the right move, was it? Joe Gibbs had choices. Suarez was just backed by money. JGR also had Erik Jones who had just as good if not better of a career in the Xfinity Series as Suarez.
Since this sport is so much a numbers game lets take a look at the first ten races and compare.
Threw the first ten races of this year Daniel Suarez has posted only two top ten finishes both seventh place at Phoenix and Auto Club. He has also only posted 4 races in the top twenty. They were nineteenth at Texas and Talladega, eighteenth at Bristol and twelfth at Richmond. Suarez has also finished twentieth or worse in the remaining four races.
Carl Edwards defiantly went out on top. Competing for a Championship last year and his numbers to start the year were strong. Edwards posted eight top tens with his only top twenty coming at Las Vegas. Edwards posted only one finish outside the top 20 thirty fifth at Talladega.
So if your a number person or business minded person these numbers make it appear as though it was not the right choice, but I will leave that for you to decide.
How ever I do know this is a new year and things could have been different for Carl Edwards but even in years further back Edwards started strong. By no means am I playing favorites or bashing anyone I am simply looking at numbers.
JGR had a choice to make as well as Carl Edwards did. JGR’s in my mind was the more complicated. They had to choose between having to find a new primary sponsor for Edwards or allow the buy out to happen and continue to have the sponsor support. Edwards choice how ever in my mind was easier. Go out with a pretty stellar career just missing a championship in the cup series. The ability to spend that precious time with the family and enjoy the off time. Or struggle threw the year fighting for sponsorship and that championship your missing.
Do you think it was the right decision for JGR? Do you think it was right for Carl Edwards? Do you think it was right for a sponsor to have this much influence? Please share your thoughts with us.
No matter what your thoughts are you can not deny that it was a changing moment for our sport. I personally think that you will see Edwards back in racing in the near future. As for the rest I will eagerly be watching to see how it plays out.
Credits, Photo Getty Images, Stats NASCAR Media