Carl Edwards: 22 car not an option

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carl Edwards addressed rumors that he was a candidate to drive the No. 22 Sprint Cup car at Penske Racing in 2013 with a flat-out "no" during a Wednesday conference call.

"I guess there's a lot of talk about me driving the 22 car next year," Edwards said before the Q-and-A part of the call. "I just want everybody that's on the call, the media, to know that's impossible.

"First of all, I haven't discussed that ever with anyone at Penske, and two I'm contracted to drive the 99 car. I'm very excited about next season. That's what's happening in case anybody wants to know. … I will be driving the 99 car next year, for sure."

The No. 22 became available when team owner Roger Penske released AJ Allmendinger after a failed drug test. Penske acknowledged last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway that Joey Logano is a candidate for the ride.

Logano is in the final year of his contract at Joe Gibbs Racing, which has signed Roush Fenway Racing's Matt Kenseth to drive the No. 20 car in 2013. Logano recently said he has an offer from one other team besides JGR.

In addition to Logano, Penske said there are other "rabbits" being considered, including Sam Hornish Jr., who's currently in the 22.

Penske said he hoped to make a decision on the driver of the 22 and whether he will expand from two to three cars by the Sept. 16 Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway.

Edwards, who is 12th in points and in danger of missing the Chase unless he wins one of the final two regular-season races, declined to discuss whether there is a clause in his contract that would allow him to move to another team if he misses the Chase.

"I appreciate you asking, but I don't ever talk about specifics of my contract with the media," said Edwards, who lost the 2011 Cup title in a tiebreaker to Tony Stewart. "But I can tell you this, I will be driving the 99 Fastenal Ford next year. I'm glad to be driving that car and I've never explored the option of driving the 22 car."

Edwards also squelched rumors that Shell Pennzoil, which sponsors the No. 22, could move from Penske to his No. 99 Ford in 2013.

"I don't think so," he said. "I've never spoken to anyone at Shell. No one has brought that up."