Silly Season 2012 Hits High Gear

Carl Edwards

"I feel like no matter what happens we have a great thing going." (Photo: Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – Talk of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season picked up steam over the weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Carl Edwards’ status as the prized free agent of the Cup garage didn’t become any clearer despite more speculation he would bolt Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing next season. The current driver of the No. 99 Ford remains mum on his future plans.

Edwards reconfirmed his commitment right now is to concentrate on the Sprint Cup championship this season.

"I feel like no matter what happens we have a great thing going," said Edwards, who leads the Cup standings heading into Sunday’s Brickyard 400. "Jack Roush and Ford and Aflac, that is our mission right now -- to win the championship. That is all of our goals. Whatever happens, happens. But I believe that is reasonable to believe that could happen no matter what."

However, Edwards’ teammate Greg Biffle believes the uncertainty surrounding the future is detrimental to the entire organization’s effort.

"At some point, he's gonna have to say, 'I'm not coming back,'" Biffle said. "He's not gonna be able to wait until Homestead – we all know that. Carl is a big boy, he's a man and he has to make his own decisions.

"There are a lot of people's jobs on the line if we're gonna be three teams or four teams. I understand contract negotiations take a long time and there is a lot to them, but truly if you know or you've made a decision, then it's time to give everybody enough opportunity to make their (move) on the back side of that."

Jeff Gordon also believes the fuzzy picture surrounding Edwards is not a positive situation for RFR.

"I just don't see them winning the championship knowing that they're leaving," Gordon said. "I might be wrong. If he stays, it might have just been a blip and then get back on track. So I think that's definitely playing a factor."

Meanwhile Clint Bowyer believes he’s close to extending his deal to remain at Richard Childress Racing.

"I hope we have it done in a couple of days. We're getting close," said Bowyer.

There is some speculation that Bowyer could wind up with Roush should Edwards decide to leave. Bowyer did acknowledge Edwards’ situation does hold the key to the moves for next season being made and putting together the entire puzzle.

"Yeah, that's the biggest thing,” Bowyer said. “There are a lot of pieces of the puzzle that have to be put in place. Like Carl where he decides to go is a big part of that. Like you said the puzzle is not put together yet."

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