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Carl Edwards To Retire From NASCAR Healthy And With No Regrets Carl Edwards Wins at Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR - FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 06: Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, races under caution during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images) Full view

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 06: Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, races under caution during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Carl Edwards To Retire From NASCAR Healthy And With No Regrets

Carl Edwards announced his immediate retirement from NASCAR in a press conference Wednesday at Joe Gibbs Racing. A source with direct knowledge of the situation revealed this on Tuesday, although the person was not authorized to speak publicly.

Carl Edwards To Retire From NASCAR Healthy And With No Regrets

Edwards, 37, said he has no plans to race again, although he added he wouldn’t use the term “retirement.” The race also said the timing to leave is right because he is satisfied with his career and because the schedule is grueling.

Edwards also said Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s battle with concussions also affected his decision to step away from racing.

“It’s a risky sport,” Edwards said. “I am aware of the risks. I don’t like how it feels to take the hits that we take. I’m a sharp guy, and I want to be a sharp guy in 30 years. Those risks are something that I want to minimize. … Like anybody in a contact sport, I realize that there might be long-term consequences to that stuff. That is a piece of the puzzle [on the decision].”

Edwards will be replaced by Daniel Suarez, the first-ever full-time Mexican-born driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Suarez won the Xfinity Series championship last season.

The newly-retired driver spent the past two years with JGR and had one year left on his deal.

“I can’t come up with a good reason why now isn’t a good time [to stop racing]. … I’m not going to say this whole thing was easy or clean or perfect,” said Edwards, who owns a farm and said he also could be interested in broadcasting. “There was no epiphany moment. This has been something that I really thought a lot about. Part of me went back and forth.”

Edwards has 28 Cup wins and has finished second for the championship twice, in 2008 and 2011. The second time, he lost to Tony Stewart on a tiebreaker.

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France released a statement following Edwards’ announcement.

“Carl Edwards has made an indelible mark on NASCAR,” he said. “His hard-charging driving style has led to memorable moments that will live forever in the history of our sport. Carl’s passion and personality will greatly be missed — as will the signature backflips that NASCAR fans have come to expect following his victories. We wish Carl nothing but the best as he enters this next phase in life.”

Edwards had a chance at the championship in each of the past two years. He failed to reach the championship round in 2015,  when rain shortened the race at Phoenix. He was one of the four finalists in 2016. Last year, he was leading on a late restart in the championship race when he attempted to block Joey Logano– and crashed out as a result.

Edwards came onto the Cup scene in 2004, when he showed promise after replacing Jeff Burton in Roush Racing’s No. 99 car.

FORT WORTH, TX – NOVEMBER 06: Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, races under caution during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Written by Pablo Mena
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