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As NASCAR fans awoke on the morning of Jan. 11, many wondered what the day would hold, as one of the biggest superstars of the sport was set to announce the reasons why he would reportedly not be climbing into his car in 2017. How would he explain a crazy-sounding decision like that?

Well, he did. And now, we just might respect him more than ever before.

In a much-anticipated press conference, Carl Edwards made it official that he was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing, and he is not competing in the series in 2017. “I’m stepping away from full-time driving in the Cup Series,” FoxSports.com reported. “I don’t have any intention of going back to full-time racing.”


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His reasons were simple – he is satisfied with his career, he wants to devote more time to the people around him, and he wants to stay healthy.

“I want to spend time outside the sport on things that are important for me,” said Carl. “… I really believe it’s the right thing. It’s a personal thing. Life’s short. You’ve got to do what your gut tells you.”

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One of the most emotional moments of the morning was when a reporter talked about the respect that his fans have always had in him and his ability to always do the right thing.

“I accomplished more than I ever dreamed of accomplishing,” Carl said after taking a moment to compose himself as seen in this Periscope video. “Everything truly happens for a reason. The time to leave is now.”

In his 13 years in the Cup Series, Carl won 28 races and 22 poles and more 340 top 10 finishes. And whatever the future holds, we wish Carl all the best.

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