Farewell to Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards shocked the NASCAR world on Wednesday by announcing his retirement in front of a room of reports at the Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters. In his press conference, he cited three main reasons for his departure, but stopped short at calling it a retirement.

Photo: Nascarking

“I’m not using the ‘R’ word,” Edwards says which could leave an opening for him to return to racing at a later date. “If I am going to get back in a race car, I’m calling Coach (Joe) Gibbs first. … I don’t have any intention going back to full-time racing. … But I know how things work. Iif it comes up and the right opportunity is there and it is the right thing, for sure I would entertain it.”

Edwards claims that he is satisifed with his career and that he does not race entirely for the trophys. His accomplishments include 28 career wins, (5th among active drivers), the 2007 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, and two runner up finishes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. What his stat line is ommiting, is a Daytona 500 win and the coveted Sprint Cup Series Championship.

“I am truly, I am personally satisfied with my career, and I know right now you’re thinking, well, you don’t have a championship.  Well, Jimmie (Johnson) has got some extras if he wants to send one my way, but truly, you guys know that I don’t race just for the trophies.”

His second reason has much to do with how the sport can consume someone’s time.

“This is an all‑encompassing thing. You guys, we do this, and it’s full‑time. And not just the physical time, but I wake up in the morning thinking about racing. I think about it all day. I go to bed thinking about it. And I have dreams about racing. And that’s just how it is. I’ve been doing that for 20 years, and I need to take that time right now and devote it to people and things that are important to me, things I’m really passionate about,” said Edwards.

Edwards also mentions how his health is another major factor in his decision to walk away from the sport. Edwards currently has a streak of 437 consecutive starts in the sport, and has never missed a race due to injury. He has plans to keep it that way.

“I can stand here healthy, and that’s a testament after all the racing I’ve done and all the stupid stuff I’ve done in a race car. … I don’t like how it feels to take the hits that we take, and I’m a sharp guy, and I want to be a sharp guy in 30 years. So those risks are something that I want to minimize.” Edwards was leading the top four championship contenders at Homestead when he was involved in a vicious crash and was taken out of the race.