NASCAR star Carl Edwards announces retirement

Veteran NASCAR driver Carl Edwards announced his retirement from the track in a Wednesday news conference.

The announcement shocked many in the NASCAR world because Edwards, 37, was considered to be in the prime of his driving career. Many NASCAR drivers generally drive into their mid-to-late 40s.

Edwards, who scored 28 wins in his career, said he was personally satisfied with his career, despite not winning a championship. He also said he raced for more than just trophies.

Edwards also said he needed to focus more of his time toward “people and things that are important to me.”

Health also played a factor into Edwards' decision to retire. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said that while he was currently healthy, he also said he wanted to minimize the inherent risks that come with driving in NASCAR.

In 13 years of racing, Edwards had 223 top ten finishes in 445 races in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, the sport's top flight.

Edwards came close to a championship on two occasions. He tied on points after the final race of the 2011 season with Tony Stewart, but Stewart won a tiebreaker because he had more wins than Edwards.

In 2016, Edwards was one of the final four drivers in contention for the championship in the final race. Edwards was involved in a crash with 10 laps to go in the race and finished fourth in the standings.

Edwards' Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Daniel Suarez will take over for Edwards in 2017.

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