Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bye-bye Carl?

Photo: Fox Sports
As if one shocking retirement weren't enough this offseason...

Carl Edwards, a 13-year NASCAR veteran who drove for Joe Gibbs Racing this past season, nearly winning the championship, is expected to announce his retirement tomorrow. Reigning XFINITY series champion Daniel Suárez is expected to replace him.

I agree with Fox Sports analyst and former NASCAR crew chief Jeff Hammond: there must be a monumental reason behind this. Edwards is only 37, not quite as young as Nico Rosberg (31) but certainly younger than several active drivers, including reigning champion Jimmie Johnson (41). He still has at least two or three years left in his prime and he drives for one of NASCAR's strongest teams, making this decision even more puzzling.

Rosberg admitted he would have stayed in Formula One had he not won the World Championship. But he did, and gets to go out on top. Edwards came within ten laps of winning the championship but ultimately fell short. My hope is that, like Rosberg, Edwards simply believes it's time to hang up the helmet.

I certainly hope there's not a more serious issue going on that would force him to step away. We'll find out after a JGR press conference tomorrow.

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