It may seem odd when an athlete, no matter what sport they are in, walks away in their prime. However, that is exactly what NASCAR’s Carl Edwards is doing, and there are fans and other racers that will not understand his decision. For Edwards, it was an easy decision to make. He is satisfied with his racing career, and now he wants to leave while he is healthy, and spend more time with his family.
On Wednesday, Edwards held a news conference at Joe Gibbs Racing that lasted about 40 minutes. He detailed his reasons why he is making the departure from racing. At one point, he fought back tears and got choked up as he softly said, “I just want to be a good person.”
Questions from the media rose about this being a ploy to get more money in the 2018 race season, or looking for a new team to race for; however, he was emphatic that it had nothing to do with money or a new team. He also let everyone know that he is fine, he is not leaving because his health is bad, and no one in his family is sick. He did admit that health was a part of his decision, according to USA Today, but that was the fact that he wanted to walk away healthy.
He said NASCAR is a contact sport, and it can take a toll on the body. He has been lucky, and stayed healthy, and that is important to him. He is not calling his departure from NASCAR a retirement. While he, at this time, has no desire to race, he is not closing the door on racing again. Maybe the bug will bite him again and he will return to racing. If that happens, Carl Edwards said he would call Joe Gibbs first.
Edwards made the decision to leave NASCAR in December, and spoke to Gibbs about it. They immediately lined up a replacement for Edwards, bringing in Daniel Suarez, last years Xfinity Series champ and, like Edwards, is sponsored by Arris. Suarez is excited by the opportunity given to him and he will be the first Mexican national to race in NASCAR as he starts his rookie season.
Carl Edwards, for the time being is walking away from the sport he loves. No celebratory back flip following a victory, just walking away to the shock of most of the NASCAR family and fans. It is not clear what he will do in the next chapter of his life, but family is expected to be a big part of it. Fans should not expect to hear his voice calling any races or doing interviews, at least not for now. No one knows what the future holds for Edwards, but he will be happy to spend it with his family and be able to enjoy that time with them.
Was the announcement a shock to you? Do you think Carl Edwards will race again? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cletus Dillwood