NASCAR Cup: Carl Edwards expected to announce retirement
Carl Edwards (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
According to a report from FOX Sports,
Carl Edwards will not compete in NASCAR in 2017, as he steps away to pursue other interests outside of driving race cars. An official announcement from Joe Gibbs Racing is expected to make an official announcement Wednesday. The news comes, despite Edwards having one season remaining on his contract with JGR.
During the Wednesday press conference, JGR is expected to announce that Daniel Suarez will replace Edwards as driver of the No. 19 Toyota in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Suarez, the reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, has driven the No. 19 Toyota in the Xfinity Series the last two years and was expected to resume that position in 2017.
Suarez will not be the only Gibbs driver to move up to the Cup Series in 2017 from the Xfinity Series. Erik Jones also will be a Cup rookie in 2017 as a driver for Furniture Row Racing through a deal with JGR.
Edwards won three Cup races in 2016. He made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship postseason and advanced to the Championship Four to challenge JGR teammate Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano for the 2016 title.
Edwards is a 28-time winner at the Cup level in 445-career starts. He ran a partial schedule in 2004 and went full-time racing in the series the following year. He began his NASCAR premier-series career with Roush Fenway Racing and remained there through the 2014 season before moving to Joe Gibbs Racing. He was with JGR for two seasons. He won a total of five races across his two season with Joe Gibbs Racing.
In 2011, while still at RFR, Edwards got oh-so-close to a Cup title by finishing out that season in a points tie with Tony Stewart. Stewart won the championship, by virtue of a tie-breaker.
If Edwards’ absence in 2017 is the beginning of retirement, he’ll be the third full-time driver from 2016 to be retired at the start of 2017, joining three-time champion Tony Stewart and Brian Scott.
Meanwhile, another Cup driver from the JGR stable, Denny Hamlin unofficially announced Monday that he has worked out an extension with the team that will take his relationship with the team beyond the 2017 season.