Carl Edwards looks to grab first win at Las Vegas for Gibbs
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Only two races into his new job, Carl Edwards is quickly finding his footing at Joe Gibbs Racing.
He left Roush Fenway Racing, where he spent the first 11 years of his career, to drive a new fourth car this season at Gibbs. The move reunited him former Roush teammate Matt Kenseth, who has helped in Edwards' transition to a new organization.
"I thought it would be harder to find my place, but it's really simple," Edwards said. "Everybody is extremely open in the debriefs. It's pretty amazing. I've already learned a ton about the guys' different driving styles. There's a lot of information sharing between the drivers."
Edwards is teamed with Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, who was injured on the season-opening weekend and is out indefinitely. But Busch's replacement is former Roush driver David Ragan, who gives Edwards a second familiar face to work with.
Now Edwards hopes to find fast success at JGR, perhaps beginning Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where he's a two-time winner.
He has talked with new crew chief Darian Grubb about the importance of getting a win early in the season to lock down a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, something Edwards did last year when he won in March at Bristol.
"If we can win anytime, at the point at which we feel like we're locked in to the Chase, it definitely allows you to take gambles," Edwards said. "It's more fun to race that way, too, so this format allows guys that have wins to do that. Darian and I talked about it early, before the year even started.
"Whatever we can do to get wins early so that we can go out there and be aggressive, get those bonus points and really just have more fun racing, that's what we want to do."
Edwards, who will start 14th Sunday, would like to mimic the success Kenseth had two years ago when he moved to JGR. Kenseth picked up his first victory for Gibbs at Las Vegas, and went on to win seven more races and finish second in the championship standings.
He believes the move to JGR has been the right decision for his career and for Edwards personally.
"I believe that change in itself is good because it puts a lot of pressure on you," Edwards said. "That's a motivator and for me it's an opportunity right now. I'm way outside of my comfort zone and that's good. Hopefully it yields good results."
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