Carl Edwards Steps Away from NASCAR, Daniel Suarez to Take Over No. 19

One of NASCAR’s biggest stars has decided to walk away from the sport while being very careful not to use the word retirement.

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Carl Edwards has officially announced that he will not compete in the 2017 season of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. “Life is short,” Edwards explained to a room full of media that had gathered for his announcement yesterday. “You’ve got to do what your gut tells you.”

“This was such a surprise,” said car owner, Joe Gibbs. “When he sat down in front of me and shared what he was thinking, I was totally surprised. I said ‘This is a huge decision, let’s take some time with this.”

Four days later, the two spoke over the phone and Coach Gibbs knew that Edwards was fully committed to walking away from the sport.

“I could tell he was totally committed,” Gibbs said.

Edwards went out of his way to make it as clears as possible that his decision was completely personal.

There’s no life raft I am jumping on to, I’m just jumping,” he said. “This is a pure, simple, personal decision.”

“You guys know that I don’t race for the trophies,” Edwards said. “I’m rewarded by the challenges. I feel accomplished. I know sitting in that car, I’m the best that I can be.

Less than 10 minutes after Edwards’ shocking announcement concluded, Gibbs began a second news conference in which he announced that Daniel Suarez will be taking over responsibilities in the No. 19 Toyota Camry. Suarez is the current Xfinity Series champion and the only foreign-born driver to win a title in one of NASCAR’s three national touring series.

Edwards is the third racing superstar to retire from NASCAR’s highest level in the past year – four-time champion Jeff Gordon retired at the end of the 2015 season to pursue a career in broadcasting with FOX Sports. Three-time champion Tony Stewart hung up his helmet at the conclusion of the season ending event at Homestead Speedway.

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