Carl Edwards won’t be returning to NASCAR in 2017. The 37-year old driver for Joe Gibbs Racing is expected to announce his immediate retirement from the sport this week. Young Phenom Daniel Suarez is anticipated to named as his replacement driver in the No. 19 Toyota.
The Joe Gibbs Racing team will hold a news conference Wednesday to confirm the news after it was reported by several outlets Tuesday.
Edwards is a native of Columbia Missouri. He worked his way up from the short tracks of the Midwest famously handing out business cards as he searched for a ride in NASCAR. At the age of 22, Edwards made his NASCAR debut in the Truck Series with a team owned by Mike Mittler. He moved to Roush-Fenway Racing in 2003 scoring his first win in the Truck Series race at Kentucky. He moved to the Xfinity Series with Roush in 2005 winning a total of 38 races along with the series title in 2007.
He also moved up to the Cup series in 2005 and amassed a total of 28 wins in 445 starts. Five of those wins came in his two seasons with Joe Gibbs that started in 2015. He finished second in the season standings twice in 2008 and 2011. The latter coming after an epic final race duel with Tony Stewart who won the title via a tiebreaker. Edwards has kept his life away from the track private. He continues to live in Columbia with his wife Kate and two children. Edwards is expected to reveal his reasons for retiring and his future plans at the JGR news conference.
Suarez, a native of Mexico, burst onto the NASCAR scene in 2014. This past season he won 3 races in the Xfinity series and became the first Mexican driver to win a series title in one of NASCAR’s top three national touring series.