Joe Gibbs Racing Makes Edwards Signing Official; Arris Sponsoring Nearly Half Of Season
Joe Gibbs Racing yesterday announced that it would "add a fourth" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in '15 with driver Carl Edwards and a "significant investment from communications technology company Arris," according to Jim Utter of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Edwards, who joins JGR from Roush Fenway Racing, will drive the No. 19 Toyota. JGR has "fielded three full-time Cup teams" since '05 but has held off "expanding to the maximum of four entries, preferring to make the move when it could put together the best deal." Edwards' move from RFR was "not a surprise as it had been rumored for months." However, the size and scope of the "investment of JGR's new partner, Arris, make it one of the biggest sponsor additions in recent years in NASCAR." Not only will Arris "sponsor approximately half the Cup season with Edwards, it also will sponsor driver Daniel Suarez next season as he moves full time to JGR's No. 18 Nationwide Series team." Additionally, Arris will "sponsor a handful" of Camping World Truck Series races for Suarez, a "rising star in the Toyota Mexico Series, and partner in a diversity initiative with Escuderia Telmex to develop Mexican and Latin American drivers in NASCAR" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/20). SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass noted Arris is "entering NASCAR to introduce itself to consumers, a big win for NASCAR to have a major corporation to come into the sport" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/19).
WELCOME ABOARD: NBCSN’s Kyle Petty said JGR bringing Arris into the sport is the "biggest news of the day," not Edwards' move to the team. Petty cited 3M's recent move from RFR and Greg Biffle's No. 16 car to Jeff Gordon's No. 24 and Hendrick Motorsports next year and said, "We see movement with sponsors inside the sport. But it's been rare over the last few years -- with the economy the way it's been -- to see an outside sponsor come in. Tip of the hat to Joe Gibbs Racing for bringing somebody outside of the sport” (“NASCAR America,” NBCSN, 8/19).