Carl Edwards steps away from NASCAR, avoids 'retirement'

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Carl Edwards confirms that he is walking away from NASCAR this season.

At a news conference Wednesday, Edwards listed three reasons for his decision to not race in 2017, most importantly that he's satisfied with what he's accomplished in his NASCAR career.

Edwards deliberately did not use the word "retirement" in explaining his decision to leave Joe Gibbs Racing with one year remaining on his contract. He came 10 laps away from winning the championship in November, and made his decision to sit out the season about a month later.

The 37-year-old Edwards says he wants to use the extra time away from racing to focus on other interests in his life. He says it is a risky sport and he wants to leave NASCAR with his health intact.