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Gordon: If Edwards says he's leaving, championship hopes are 'done'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jeff Gordon didn't mince words. If Carl Edwards announces he's leaving Roush Fenway Racing to drive elsewhere next year, Gordon believes that will doom any Sprint Cup title hopes the current series points leader might have. "Let's...

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jeff Gordon didn't mince words.

If Carl Edwards announces he's leaving Roush Fenway Racing to drive elsewhere next year, Gordon believes that will doom any Sprint Cup title hopes the current series points leader might have.

"Let's say he's going somewhere else--they're done," Gordon said Friday before the first Brickyard 400 practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I just don't see them winning the championship knowing that they're leaving.

"I might be wrong. But 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. I'm not saying that just for Carl. It would with anybody. Anybody that's going through a contract renegotiation year, things are up in the air--it's always going to be a distraction."

Rumors were rampant at Indy that Edwards has agreed to a big-money deal that would place him in the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota at Joe Gibbs Racing next year. Under that scenario, Joey Logano would move from the No. 20 to a fourth JGR car.

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Edwards asserted Friday he hasn't signed a contract for next year. Gordon said he wasn't surprised at the protracted nature of Edwards' contract talks, because Gordon has first-hand experience. He talked to Edwards in 2008 when Edwards was fielding offers from other teams--including Hendrick Motorsports.

"I spoke to Carl years ago when he stayed with Roush," Gordon said. "We talked to him, as he talked to every team. I saw his negotiating tactics at that time. It's not surprising to me."

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