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Sunday, March 27, 2011
Carl Edwards in no hurry for new deal


FONTANA, Calif. -- Carl Edwards isn't in a hurry to negotiate a new contract with Roush Fenway Racing or any other Sprint Cup organization.

You can't blame him.

Edwards is leading the Cup standings after Sunday's sixth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway. He's won three of the past seven races dating back to last season, and with a little luck could have won six.

"The biggest thing I don't want to do is mess anything up by focusing too much on that," Edwards said. "We all work very hard to be in the exact position we are in right now. I don't want to mess that up by focusing on the contract right now."

So could this last the entire season?

"I am leaving it alone for right now," Edwards said. "We will just see what happens."

As long as Edwards continues on this run he will maintain a huge bargaining edge. He's by far the most sought-after free agent, and in tough economic times when most drivers with new deals are taking huge cuts he is in position to perhaps maintain.

Roush Fenway has to be the odds-on favorite to keep Edwards, but the 31-year-old driver will have options. Red Bull Racing likely will make a run at him to replace Kasey Kahne, who will move to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Edwards' star power also could help draw a sponsor that would make a fourth team at Joe Gibbs Racing feasible.

The longer Edwards stays on this roll, the more he can demand.