NASCAR star Carl Edwards leaving sport, has no plans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

NASCAR star Carl Edwards leaving sport, has no plans

Carl Edwards wipes a tear as he speaks to the media about his decision to leave NASCAR. (Source: AP/Chuck Burton) Carl Edwards wipes a tear as he speaks to the media about his decision to leave NASCAR. (Source: AP/Chuck Burton)

(RNN) - Popular NASCAR driver Carl Edwards said Wednesday that he really is ending his successful run as a driver for personal reasons, and denied he has another deal lined up.

“I have not entertained or contemplated anything else,” Edwards said in a news conference from Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, NC. “This is not a money deal. This has nothing to do with contract negotiations.”

He has many interests outside sports that deserve his attention and the time to move on is now, he said in a prepared release from NASCAR.

The winner of 28 career races gave three reasons he is stepping away – that he is satisfied with his career, wants to devote more time to others and wants to leave the sport while he’s still healthy.

He also said he doesn’t know exactly what he’s going to do now.

“I hope you’ll accept that I don’t really have that all figured out yet,” he told a room full of media. “I’m OK with that, I’m at peace with that. But if you put all three of those things together it all adds up, Life’s short. You have to do what your gut tells you.”

He did say that Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s very public struggles after a brain injury played a part in his decision, but that was not the only thing.

“Everyone should pay attention to that,” he said. “Like anyone in a contact sport – and this is a contact sport, you have to look at all the risks.”

He stressed that he is “100 percent healthy,” and thanked his fans who tweeted and questioned if that might be the reason he’s stepping down after news broke Tuesday on FoxSports.com. He also said there is no animosity with JGR or his manufacturer, Toyota.

“I just want to be a good person,” Edwards said, becoming emotional when he was asked about the flood of praise he received in the press and social media after the news broke that he was stepping down.

He did not rule out a return to racing someday, but added “What I’m doing right now, I don’t have a plan to drive a race car.”

He said he has accomplished more than he ever expected, and that he was following his gut the same way he did 20 years ago when he started his racing career.

“The way people are looking at me now is the same way they looked at me 20 years ago when I said, 'hey, I’m going to drive a race car.'"

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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