Dave Rogers will be working with his fourth driver in four seasons this year. But this time will be different. With the surprise departure of Carl Edwards, Rogers will now be paired with rookie Daniel Suarez on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 Cup Series car.
“Carl made a business decision that was very personal,” Rogers told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns. “That’s easy for me. People change paths all the time. But as a friend, it’s more difficult. I want to make sure Carl’s making the right decision for the right reasons and really, truly believe he is. But emotionally it’s hard to not be working with my buddy every day.”
“Now I have this wonderful opportunity in front of me,” Rogers said. “Daniel comes across as one of the hardest workers I’ve seen. … I started watching him in the ARCA series, then I watched him drive our Xfinity cars.
“I think what sums it up best is what I told him at the Cup banquet when I sat with him,” Rogers recalled. “‘You deserve to be the champion. You didn’t back into this, you outperformed the competition. You won this. You ought to be proud.”
Rogers and Suarez will see their first track action together in a test at Phoenix International Raceway at the end of the month. Their first race together will be the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.