Carl Edwards will join Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015, owner and founder Joe Gibbs announced at a press conference Tuesday morning.
“We’re going forward knowing we’ve got to win,” Gibbs said. “I’m going to be so excited going to the race track.”
Edwards joins the JGR NASCAR Sprint Cup stable that includes Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.
“I think they’ll all gain from Carl, and Carl will gain from them,” said J.D. Gibbs. “They’ll make each other better.”
Edwards, who is eighth in the 2014 Sprint standings, will be in the No. 19 Toyota next season, a move that was much discussed this season.
“This is a huge day for me,” Edwards said. “It means the world to me to have this opportunity. It means a lot to me for Denny and Kyle to be here. It wil be nice to be able to talk about this now. I’m looking forward to next year.”
JGR also added Daniel Suarez, who leads the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series. He will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series under the JGR umbrella and select truck races as a partner of Busch.
“This is crazy,” Suarez said Tuesday. “I can’t thank enough Joe Gibbs Racing. “I’m pretty excited. I’m really looking forward to start racing.”
At the press conference, Gibbs said he believes that Tony Stewart will eventually overtime the trauma associated with the accident that killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. earlier this month.
Stewart, who formerly drove for Gibbs in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series before forming his own team, has sat out the past two races in the series and has not indicated when he might return to the track.
Gibbs and other drivers have not spoken with Stewart since the incident in New York on Aug. 9 that left the young Ward dead after he exited his wrecked car and tried to confront Stewart on the dirt track while the race was under caution.
“From what I saw with Tony, he’s got great courage, he’s smart, he loves this sport,” Gibbs said. “He’s totally focused on it.”
Gibbs said he has been praying for his former driver.
“We all love Tony, we love what he did for us here,” he said. “We know he’s a racer’s racer and he’s big for our sport. I would love to have a chance to speak with him at some point and encourage him.”
Gibbs was told that Stewart is in seclusion with close family and friends while he grieves.
“This is a horrible thing to have happen — for the (Ward) family, for (Stewart) — so we’re all praying for ‘em,” Gibbs said. “This is just hard to go through, so everybody is going to have to prayerfully work their way through it.”