In an official press conference today, the longtime favorite driver confessed that what had happened during his career helped shape his decision to pull the plug on his time behind the wheel of a stock car.
NASCAR’s famous backflip driver, Carl Edwards, held a series of joint press conferences with his racing team, Joe Gibbs Racing, earlier today (Wednesday January 11th). It was during these press conferences that the 37-year-old racing superstar revealed exactly what occurred that made him decide to give up his career.
Effective immediately, Carl Edwards will not be participating in the 2017 NASCAR season and revealed that new teammate, Daniel Suarez, will be taking his place at the wheel of the No. 19 car, keeping his sponsors, Toyota and Arris.
Easily named as one of the most accomplished drivers in NASCAR, Edwards’ decision to quit the sport came as a shock to the majority of the racing community – mostly because many industry analysts and fellow professionals considered him to be at the peak of his career.
While Edwards has not won a championship during his career on the track, he took part in two of the most intense and close finishes that have ever happened in the sport.
During his meeting with reporters earlier this morning, Edwards confessed that while he had not yet taken home a series title yet, he felt he’d done enough.
“I want to spend time outside the sport on things that are important for me,” said Edwards at the conference. “… I really believe it’s the right thing. It’s a personal thing,” adding, “Life’s short. You’ve got to do what your gut tells you.”
There were three specific reasons Edwards listed as to why he was turning in his racing helmet and keys to the No. 19. He is satisfied with his career accomplishments thus far, really wants to spend more time with the people he loves, and he wants to stay healthy.
“There’s no life raft I’m jumping on,” he said. “I’m just jumping. And in a way that makes it easier.”
His final reason, staying healthy, is one that many drivers can rally behind – especially since what seemed like more minor accidents sidelined one of the sport’s most notable and recognizable drivers for almost a full season.
In all likelihood, after Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered two severe concussions this summer and had his clearance for racing revoked for medical concerns, many drivers beyond Edwards reconsidered their line of work.
Throughout the entire conference, Edwards specifically avoided using the “R” word (retirement), which means that he doesn’t want folks to count him out yet, but he wont be seen back on the track anytime soon.
We are sad to see Carl Edwards depart from the sport that he’s excelled at over the years, but we are happy to hear that he’s looking forward to the next step in his life and we wish him all the best.
Watch the video below where Edwards explains the history of his signature backflip!