MENCS Opinions

Mullins: I Tip My Hat To Carl Edwards


Carl Edwards stepped away from NASCAR on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. He stepped away instead of using the r-word, retire, which leaves the door open to racing in the future.

So why do I tip my hat off to the 28 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race winner? He did it on his terms.

Edwards noted three main reasons for stepping away:

  1. “My health … I’m a sharp guy and I want to be a sharp guy in 30 years.”
  2. “I need to take that time and devote it to people that are important to me.”
  3. “I am personally satisfied with my career.”

How can you fault someone that is putting his health and loved ones ahead of his own success? Plus, if he is satisfied with his career, why canít we be?

In recent years you have seen the way that concussions and other health-related issues have plagued professional athletes. I take that statement as he is looking out for himself so he can be there for the people that mean the most to him. I have no issues.

Letís not also forget that racing is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Drivers are going 190+ miles per hour inches from each other. One wrong move and you can suffer serious injury, and in some cases, death. Despite NASCAR and the tracks making the sport safer, those risks are always there. Who knows, an accident next year could have left him not as ďsharpĒ as he currently is.

photo taken during opening practice for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Friday, May 13, 2016. ©Jacob Mullins

As it relates to the need to want and devote time to those that are important to him; thatís fantastic! We all know that the MENCS is a long season and being on the road 36-plus weeks of the year can take its toll on anyone, whether those important to you are with you on the road or not. Letís not forget that most of us strive to devote time to be with family and friends, and if faced with the opportunity to do so, we would jump at the chance.

Now, the main reason that Iím perfectly fine with him hanging up the fire suit for now is that he is satisfied with his career. If he is happy with the way his career has turned out, then why does it bother us? It shouldnít!

Do I believe that he will one day become a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame? Yes, but it will take some time. If heís satisfied, then Iím, satisfied. Speaking of the Hall of Fame, letís take a look back at his career statistics:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
28 Victories, 124 Top 5, 220 Top 10 and 22 poles
Finished runner-up in Championship Standings twice (2008, 2011)

38 NASCAR XFINITY Series Victories
38 Victories, 130 Top 5, 174 Top 10 and 27 poles
Won the NXS Championship once (2007)
Finished runner-up in Championship Standings four times (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010)

6 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
6 Victories, 24 Top 5, 35 Top 10 and 4 poles

How many times in professional sports do you see an athlete continue playing or competing to reach the pinnacle of a championship? Numerous times. How many of them actually get said championship? Not many.

So if Carl Edwards is ready to step away from the sport that he made a career out of which has provided for his family to do other interests, good for him. I personally donít think weíve seen or heard the last of Edwards, but until we do, donít be upset that he is leaving the sport, be happy that you were able to be a part of his journey.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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