Popular NASCAR driver Carl Edwards will not compete in 2017, FoxSports.com reported Tuesday, saying he is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing "to pursue other interests outside of driving". However, it would not be a surprise if reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Daniel Suarez took over the ride.
If this is the end of his career, Carl leaves the track with 28 race victories, 22 poles, 124 top five finishes and 220 top-10 finishes in 445 starts. Jimmie Johnson won the race to claim his seventh Sprint Cup Series title. Joe Gibbs Racing will formally announce his retirement and his replacement Wednesday Morning, per reports. While most drivers live in the Charlotte, N.C., area, for example, Edwards lives in his hometown of Columbia, Mo.
Edwards is coming off of a solid 2016 season in which he made the Chase and the final-four. With so much success for both JGR and Toyota over the last two seasons, losing Edwards will only ratchet up the pressure on Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. moving forward.
Sadly, we shipped this section of the magazine to our printer on January 9 - a day prior to word that Edwards, 37, would be announcing his early retirement. His first win at the track came in 2007. He also lost a chance at the CUP Series title this past season at Homestead in the closing laps thanks to a multi-car incident on a restart.