Satisfaction, other pursuits taking Carl Edwards off the track

Retirement was never mentioned in his remarks

Carl Edwards cited three major factors Wednesday in stepping away from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with a year left on his Joe Gibbs Racing contract.

It what was first reported as a retirement, Edwards never once uttered the word, rather giving thanks for a 20-year racing career that included 13 as a full time driver in the Cup Series.

Edwards, 37, said he was personally satisfied with his career, which, for now, was capped by a crash with 10 laps to go in the final race of the 2016 season at Miami Homestead as he was competing for his first Cup championship.

The extremely-private driver also said that he wanted to take time to pursue other interests outside of the sport. He did not rule out a possible future career move into the television broadcast booth or a possible car ownership deal, but for now, he says family and other project will occupy his time.

Edwards also said that the third reason was he was walking away 100 percent healthy- a testament to the sport and the cars prepared for the drivers. He said that he knew the risks were always there but he would not have changed his approach.

Car owner Joe Gibbs said Edwards came to him in December and informed him of his decision. Gibbs said he told the Missouri native to go home and take time to mull over his plans and then four days later, Edwards called and said he was confident in the decision to leave the racing world.

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