Sport Carl Edwards’ retirement could spark a trend for NASCAR drivers retiring in their prime

02:20  12 january  2017
02:20  12 january  2017 Source:   Larry Brown Sports

Kevin Harvick returns to FOX NASCAR booth for eight races in 2017

  Kevin Harvick returns to FOX NASCAR booth for eight races in 2017 Kevin Harvick plans to gain experience in the broadcast booth for a post-racing career.Harvick also will contribute as an analyst on FS1’s NASCAR Race Hub, the most-watched daily NASCAR news and highlights program, airing Monday through Thursday at 6:00 PM ET during the racing season, joining a solid rotation of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers and crew chiefs.

News is beginning to swirl that NASCAR driver Carl Edwards is going to announce Wednesday that he is stepping away from the sport. UPDATE: Bob Pockrass of ESPN has updated his original story. He maintains that Edwards is set to retire immediately from NASCAR on Wednesday, he cites sources who are familiar with the drivers current plans. Fox Sports is reporting he won’t race in 2017, they aren’t using the term retirement though.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that NASCAR driver Carl Edwards is retiring . Joe Gibbs Racing has scheduled a pair of news conferences Wednesday in which Edwards is expected to announce he is giving up the sport immediately. Father gets 1,503-year sentence for raping teenage daughter. News. Canadian police department threatens drunk drivers with ‘gift’ of ‘Nickelback treatment’. Sports. Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak announces retirement .

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In a completely unexpected move, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards announced that he wasn’t going to race in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Gordon readies for racing return, aims for elusive Rolex 24 win

  Gordon readies for racing return, aims for elusive Rolex 24 win Jeff Gordon doesn’t just pay attention to details. He’s a details hound even for a guy who’s retired. “I never said I was retiring,” Gordon said.That was a big detail to remember Friday as Gordon drove a sleek, new Cadillac prototype on a sun-drenched Daytona International Speedway.MORE: Would Gordon be Cup fill-in driver again?He turned laps on the road course in preparation for the upcoming Rolex 24, the twice-around-the-clock pinnacle of American sports car racing. The race isn’t until Jan. 28-29, but Gordon needs all of the track time he can get right now.

Carl Edwards retiring from Nascar . Updated: 12:13 PM CST Jan 10, 2017. Edwards ' retirement is a shock considering how many years left he'd likely be competitive, and how close he came to winning the title. He is extremely private, is married to a doctor and has two young children that he steadfastly refuses to discuss in interviews. He also lives in his home state of Missouri, while most of NASCAR 's drivers live in North Carolina.

Carl Edwards retiring from Nascar . Updated: 1:13 PM EST Jan 10, 2017. Edwards ' retirement is a shock considering how many years left he'd likely be competitive, and how close he came to winning the title. He is extremely private, is married to a doctor and has two young children that he steadfastly refuses to discuss in interviews. He also lives in his home state of Missouri, while most of NASCAR 's drivers live in North Carolina.

The 37-year-old Edwards didn’t completely say the word “retirement,” but the emotional Edwards sure seemed like he was at the very least not going to race full-time anymore. NASCAR Xfinity Champion Daniel Suarez will take over, becoming the first Mexican-born driver to race full-time in NASCAR’s top American racing series.

In his press conference, Edwards listed three reasons he was retiring. One, Edwards was satisfied with his racing career. While he never won a Cup championship (lost on tiebreaker once) or a Daytona 500, Edwards amassed 28 wins in 445 starts in his 13 year Cup career.

Two, Edwards noted the grind of the NASCAR schedule as being so long that it prevented him from pursuing other passions outside of racing that he wanted to do. The NASCAR season begins in February and ends in November. Yes, NASCAR drivers only race once a week but that includes a couple days of practice or qualifying, attending various sponsor and fan events and conducting interviews with the press every week for about 10 months out of the year. Even for a person like Edwards, who likes doing events like that, it can be a grind over 13 years. Not to mention, Edwards raced full-time in the Xfinity Series for seven years from 2005 to 2011. That can get to anyone.

Exclusive: Carl Edwards won't race in 2017

  Exclusive: Carl Edwards won't race in 2017 FOXSports.com confirmed from multiple sources Carl Edwards won't race in the 2017 season.On Wednesday, JGR will announce at a press conference that Daniel Suarez will replace Edwards as the driver of the team’s No. 19 Monster Energy Cup Series Toyota. Suarez is the reigning NASCAR XFINITY Series champion.

Carl Edwards retiring from Nascar . Updated: 1:13 PM EST Jan 10, 2017. Edwards ' retirement is a shock considering how many years left he'd likely be competitive, and how close he came to winning the title. He is extremely private, is married to a doctor and has two young children that he steadfastly refuses to discuss in interviews. He also lives in his home state of Missouri, while most of NASCAR 's drivers live in North Carolina.

Carl Edwards retiring from Nascar . Updated: 12:13 PM CST Jan 10, 2017. Edwards ' retirement is a shock considering how many years left he'd likely be competitive, and how close he came to winning the title. He is extremely private, is married to a doctor and has two young children that he steadfastly refuses to discuss in interviews. He also lives in his home state of Missouri, while most of NASCAR 's drivers live in North Carolina.

Three, and probably the most important reason for Edwards getting out of the driver’s seat, Edwards wanted to get out while he still has his health and in Edwards’ words, “I don’t like how it feels to take the hits we take. I’m a sharp guy – want to be sharp in 30 years.”

After Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed the second half of last season due to concussions, the NASCAR circuit started paying attention and some have gotten more serious on concussions. Edwards didn’t really expand upon what kind of impact Dale Jr.’s recovery had on his decision but it surely had some effect. In addition to his wife being a neurologist, and being health conscious by running in marathons and triathlons, Edwards has a unique perspective to learn as much as he can about a still relatively mysterious injury and make an important decision like retirement so he can live happily for the rest of his life with his wife and kids.

Edwards isn't going to Fox booth for NASCAR

  Edwards isn't going to Fox booth for NASCAR A gig alongside former driver Jeff Gordon has been ruled out as his next step.Edwards is not leaving his No. 19 car for a TV job at Fox Sports, which had been the subject of some speculation following Tuesday morning's news.

Carl Edwards , driver of the #19 ARRIS Toyota, prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 on November 20, 2016. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images). CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that NASCAR driver Carl Edwards is retiring . Joe Gibbs Racing has scheduled a pair of news conferences Wednesday in which Edwards is expected to announce he is giving up the sport immediately.

Carl Edwards retiring from Nascar . Updated: 10:13 AM PST Jan 10, 2017. Edwards ' retirement is a shock considering how many years left he'd likely be competitive, and how close he came to winning the title. He is extremely private, is married to a doctor and has two young children that he steadfastly refuses to discuss in interviews. He also lives in his home state of Missouri, while most of NASCAR 's drivers live in North Carolina.

As we learn more and more about concussions, Edward’s announcement may be more the norm for drivers in the future to hang up the steering wheel earlier than expected. Before the 70’s, a racing driver’s career ended in their prime either because they got seriously hurt or were killed. It was a grim reality in Formula 1 that if you were a F1 driver in the 60’s, you had a 2/3 chance you wouldn’t see the end of your career because you would likely be killed in a crash. Fatality numbers weren’t quite that high in NASCAR at that time, but it wasn’t uncommon for a fatality taking place every once in a while.

As cars became safer and the fear of death was lowered, but not completely gone, it wasn’t uncommon for NASCAR drivers to be racing for 20 or 30 years and retire when they were well into their 50’s. Like the NFL, concussions weren’t taken too seriously and even if a driver had a broken bone or was injured in any other way, they would at least start the race to get the points and step out for a relief driver on the first caution.

Now, with Jeff Gordon retiring at 43 and only coming back to sit in for Dale Jr. and Edwards stepping down at 37, this could be the trend for drivers to get out while they still have their brains and body parts intact. Even 41-year-old Dale Jr., even though he’s coming back to race next season, may have to retire if he were to suffer another concussion.

Grace, class marked Carl Edwards' NASCAR career

  Grace, class marked Carl Edwards' NASCAR career Carl Edwards, who is expected to announce Wednesday that he won't race in 2017, won 28 races over a 13-season NASCAR Cup career. But, as much as anything else, Edwards will be known for the class and decency he showed after coming agonizingly close to winning two championships. Edwards, 37, will likely be replaced in the No. 19 Toyota by Daniel Suarez, who won last season's Xfinity Series championship.

According to NASCAR .com, Carl Edwards , the back-flipping NASCAR Cup racer, has officially announced he will be retiring from the sport. His announcement came during a press conference with his team, Joe Gibbs Racing, and confirms recent rumors of his departure. His retirement takes effect immediately, and he will not race during the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Joe Gibbs said in a press conference that he admires Edwards ' ability to walk away at the peak of his career, rather than more typical situation in which the team has to tell the driver it's time to call it quits.

Carl Edwards retiring from Nascar . Updated: 1:13 PM EST Jan 10, 2017. Edwards ' retirement is a shock considering how many years left he'd likely be competitive, and how close he came to winning the title. He is extremely private, is married to a doctor and has two young children that he steadfastly refuses to discuss in interviews. He also lives in his home state of Missouri, while most of NASCAR 's drivers live in North Carolina.

Drivers back 30 or 40 years ago raced for the love of the sport but because that was also their way of living. There were no multi-million dollar sponsorships and the drivers back then weren’t PR polished that they are today to use their driving career and go into another industry. They raced for as long as they could so they could put food on the table for their family. For someone like Jeff Gordon, he earned over $150 million in prize money alone in his career. A good chunk of that goes to the team and his team owner but he made a helluva lot more money than Richard Petty did back in the 60’s. There just comes a point where it’s not about the money anymore and more about staying healthy.

There isn’t going to be a shortage of capable NASCAR drivers anytime soon, there’s a bunch of talent in the lower series as well as on some of the lower funded Monster cars. But for a sport who has experienced lower and lower ratings and catering to a demographic that is getting smaller and smaller in this country every year, it has to be concerning that so many top stars are retiring or on verge of retiring while they still have some years left in them.

Although, in fairness, at least we can all appreciate guys like Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards retiring, or at least cutting back from full-time racing, at the height of their careers and on their own terms. Because 40 years ago, they wouldn’t have been able to retire on their own terms.

PHOTOS: 10 BOLD PREDICTIONS FOR 2017

The holidays are over and it’s time to get back to work. In less than seven weeks, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will head to Daytona for first The Clash and then the Daytona 500. The 2017 NASCAR season ought to be an exciting one and to kick off the new year here are 10 bold predictions for the upcoming campaign: 10 bold NASCAR predictions for the 2017 season

Childress honors Earnhardt as he's inducted into Hall .
With a nod to the late Dale Earnhardt, a tearful Richard Childress thanked his former driver for helping build an organization that led to Childress' induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Childress began his career as a driver and formed his own race team in 1972. He officially gave up driving in 1981 to focus on Richard Childress Racing, and Earnhardt won six of his record-tying seven titles driving Childress cars. Earnhardt won 67 races for Childress, who has 11 total NASCAR titles as a car owner.''I wouldn't be standing here tonight without him.

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