In 2017... Carl Edwards retired from NASCAR. Yep, that's right. It happened. Why did he do it? Because sometimes you just get to a point with a certain thing you like doing and say "I don't want to do this anymore". He's satisfied with his career, wants to be with his family and he has his health. He wasn't my driver at all, but really made me respect him with his personality which aspires me to be just that. I was shocked to hear the news at first and then later realized it's something that isn't really surprising of an early retirement. Let's face it we all get sick of doing the same thing sooner or later. A lot are scratching their head on why so early.
Sometimes the frustration of losing two championship attempts are not worth repeating in the long run. Don't mince my words, I'm sure if Edwards kept racing he would of eventually captured a title and be honored as a champion. By retiring early, Carl is the smartest of all people who remembers that life isn't all about racing and he wants to enjoy the rest of his life his way. Not be bolted to the racing circuit 36+ weeks a year. Without being signed to a contract he and his family are pretty much set for life.
I know almost everyone assumes he is missing out on millions of dollars of a future salary, but these guys make enough where they can invest outside the sport and keep an equal income for themselves. Like Bill Elliott said "If I were in it for the money I would of quit along time ago" safe to say. 13 seasons, 28 cup wins and 2 championship attempts in between and later, Carl could have stopped even earlier, but he didn't. He kept going adding enough tenure to call it the perfect career. The greatest cap of that career came at Homestead 2016 when he went over to the 22 crew and told them no hard feelings and go win the championship. Out of all the variables whether it being money, wins, being close for the title or if he is a valid Hall Of Fame pick, I think Carl's personality is what defines if he had a long enough or successful career in the end.