Race Weekend Central

Carl Edwards Stepping Away from NASCAR in 2017

Carl Edwards will not race in NASCAR in 2017.

According to FoxSports.com, Edwards, previously the driver of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, will step away from the sport in 2017, devoting his time to non-driving interests.

A press conference scheduled for Wednesday is expected to reveal Daniel Suarez as the driver of the No. 19 for 2017, sources told FoxSports.com. The report was corroborated by sources to ESPN as well.

Neither Edwards nor the team has officially commented on the news just yet.

It’s unclear whether Edwards’ exit from JGR — and NASCAR as a whole — is a move toward retirement or if Edwards will be back in a car at a later date.

The news comes as a bit of a shock as Edwards, 37, finished fourth in the Cup standings in 2016, leading the series with six poles. He managed three wins, nine top 5s and 18 top 10s. Edwards was in contention for his first Cup title at the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, losing out only after a crash on lap 257 relegated him to a 34th-place finish.

Suarez, meanwhile, is the defending XFINITY Series champion, scoring the title for Gibbs’ No. 19 team in the series. He has yet to compete in a Cup event.

About the author

Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

True asset to the sport, and my wife’s favorite, he will be missed.

Bill B

Wow,,, didn’t see that coming. I hope there is nothing wrong with his health. I am sure we will hear more in the next few days. Best wishes to Carl.


Same here –first thought was too many hard hits / other health issue. Though in fairness, if I could afford it / had less gray hair, I’d quit engineering and pursue something enjoyable.


Please tell me he’s not going to be a commentator!
You couldn’t fit his teeth and DW’s ego in the booth!

I predict this has something to do with the long rumored new manufacture…


NASCAR is in a sad state. Guys retiring, empty seats and now format changes. Dang…..


You could have knocked me over with a feather with this news. I hope all is well in his personal life.

Carl D.

I have a feeling there’s more to this story than we are going be told. But maybe Edwards is just burnt out.


Holy Cow Batman….out of 4 Gibbs drivers, Carl is the LEAST annoying to me. Damn, now the rumor of the Suarez in the seat…UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best of luck Carl in your future endeavors and to your family as well.


carl edwards has been far from brain trust material for most of his cup days but is finally showing some smarts career wise. There are plenty of quality rides that can open for him, especially if he sits a year. He’s talented but not particularly smart on the race track yet he’s well liked and “marketable.” He’s getting some good advise here, i think cup has a few years left before it disintegrates and fades into oblivion. best to make hay while the sun is still shining. best of luck to ya carl.


With Monster and Format changes Winston Cup will look like the X-Games within two years.


This is so bizarre! As someone commented on another website, they had to look at the calendar to see if it wasn’t April 1st.

However, the more I read other articles on the subject of Carl’s unexpected departure, the more this sounds like a political deal. The head honcho at Arris wanted Suarez in the 19 car NOW, and Saint Gibbs, being the ever so moral and ethical Christian man that he is (Barf!), is obliging him. When the sponsor speaks, the owner jumps! If there is even a gram of truth to this, then, (1) I hope Saint Joe is giving Carl a fantastic financial compensation, (2) nothing against Daniel Suarez, but I hope the number 19 doesn’t see a top-30, and (3) somebody steps in and offers Carl a ride, and he wins 20 races, just to spit in Saint Joe’s face!


This seems the most plausible. As Limbaugh says, “follow the money”.


My guess is that theres something he wants to do in the near future, a year or two maybe, which can only be done if he breaks his contract with Gibbs/Toyota now. We will see soon enough.

Bill B

I’ve never been a fan but after listening to his press conference (assuming he was being truthful, and I believe he was) I have an unbelievable amount of respect for him now. Doing what is right for him, not being a slave to the almighty dollar or personal ego, putting health and family above all else, leaving while he was at the top of his game. Very refreshing to see someone go that route.

Glad he is healthy, glad he had a great career, glad he has the rest of his life to look forward to.



Share via