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What happened to Carl Edwards? What is the NASCAR driver doing now?

Leigh McManus March 8, 2021
what happened to carl edwards

What happened to Carl Edwards? Although it was Kyle Larson who raced to victory in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, fans were left wondering what ever happened to NASCAR legend Carl Edwards after his shock retirement in early 2017. 

Who is Carl Edwards?

Edwards is a NASCAR great hailing from Columbia, Missouri. He sent shockwaves through the racing community when he hung up the helmet at the peak of his powers at the end of the 2016 season, not long before the premier race of the year, the Daytona 500. 

Carl Edwards celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in November 2016


The fan favourite never really gave any definite reason why he departed the sport so unexpectedly, not even to his then-manager Joe Gibbs, so the question “what happened to Carl Edwards?” isn’t a rare one.

The 41-year-old wrote his name into the fabric of the sport by competing for thirteen seasons in NASCAR’s top series, twelve as a full-time driver. 

During this time, Edwards racked up 29 wins and most fans felt he had more to give when he called it quits at the age of 37, creating a huge mystery behind his reasoning. 

So, what happened to Carl Edwards?

Speaking to Fox Sports’ Shannon Spake in April last year, Edwards shed some light on the mystery. 

Appearing via video link on the NASCAR Race Hub show to talk about his Hall of Fame nomination, he said health reasons were behind his decision. 

Edwards speaking to Fox Sports’ Shannon Spake in April last year about his Hall of Fame nomination and life since hanging up the helmet source

“I can stand here healthy after all the racing I’ve done and all the stupid stuff I’ve done in racecars. I’m a sharp guy and I want to be a sharp guy in 30 years. Those risks are something I want to minimise,” he told the presenter. 

He added that he is healthy but he wanted to minimise the risks of “long-term consequences.”

Edwards added further that he is “truly personally satisfied” with his career, batting off any suggestions of a return to the car. 

What is he doing now?

So how do you spend your time after over a decade of going literally 200mph? You farm of course. 

Edwards is back home in his MidWest hometown of Columbia doing typically Midwestern things.

“I’m basically just doing what I told everybody I was doing, spent a lot of time with friends and family and traveling a lot, farming a lot, and really enjoying it,” Edwards said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio in March 2018. 

However, he was offered the chance to come out of retirement after Sunday’s race winner Kyle Larson was fired by his team when he used a racial slur during a nationally-broadcast computer simulation race earlier this year. 

Carl Edwards declined the invite from Chip Ganassi Racing, saying that he’s happy in retirement.

Edwards added that he had pondered entering into politics but after recent events in the US, he said that is “the most dangerous thing you could do with your life” at the moment.

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Leigh is a 26-year-old journalist from the north of Ireland. He studied International Journalism at Liverpool John Moores University, where he earned a 2:1 grade. He has worked for Mail Online and has experience with the Liverpool Echo, Irish Mirror and SWNS. Leigh is also a huge music fan and has his own show on a community radio station.