Fastenal to sponsor Carl Edwards

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It took Roush Fenway Racing less than a month to put together a major portion of Carl Edwards' sponsorship package.

Fastenal agreed Thursday to sponsor Edwards for 17 races in the Sprint Cup Series beginning next season. The deal came a little more than three weeks after Edwards ended his free agency by agreeing to a long-term deal with Roush.

The team had been unable to shop sponsorship until Edwards agreed to return to the organization.

Fastenal has been associated with Edwards in some capacity since 1999, and has been the primary sponsor on his Nationwide Series car the last two seasons.

"I've appreciated the long relationship that I've had with Fastenal," said Edwards. "I'm proud that they believe so strongly in our team and program that they are making the commitment to sponsor us in the Sprint Cup Series."

Fastenal, a fastener distributor and supplier for the industrial and construction industry, also agreed to sponsor two additional Roush Fenway entries in a yet to be determined 2012 race. The deal would put three Fastenal-branded Fords on the track in a single event.

"It's hard to imagine a better driver, or a better spokesperson for our company, than Carl Edwards," said Fastenal vice president Cory Jansen. "Because of the phenomenal season Carl is having, we've probably had more brand exposure this year than we've had in the previous five years combined.

"We're looking forward to taking another huge step forward next season by presenting our brand to the tens of millions of fans who follow the Cup Series."

Aflac is currently Edwards' primary sponsor, but the insurance company has not said yet if it will return next season.

Edwards has won four Nationwide races this season -- and five overall -- in a Fastenal-sponsored car.

In the Sprint Cup Series, he's ranked fourth in the standings and has already clinched a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.