In the past 24 hours since Carl Edwards announced he was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing as their top driver, many rumors have surfaced as to why.

In my story on Tuesday, I speculated the reason was to be with family. It's nice to be right once in a while.

That was pretty much the official word from Edwards when he explained his decision to walk away. He specifically emphasized staying healthy for the most important people in his life.

As one of NASCAR's top drivers, he clearly knows the risks of the profession. He says he's completely healthy and he wants to stay that way.

Make note that since he came into the series in 2004, he has raced in 445 events and has never missed a single race due to an injury.

He's one of the healthiest guys in the sport and everyone in his family is in good health. Edwards wants to do what will give things the best chance of staying that way.

He says driving the race car is putting the biggest risk against staying healthy for the people in his life that are the most important to him.

One of the biggest wake up calls recently, was watching Dale Earnhardt, with serious recovery issues from a concussion. Another was crashing himself in the last race of the 2016 season recently in November.

He also made it perfectly clear that he is not upset with anything in racing. And he's definitely not in any kind of falling out with Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards says that if he ever decides to get back into a race car, the first person he will call will be coach (Gibbs).

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France issued a statement after Edwards' announcement.

Carl Edwards has made an indelible mark on NASCAR," he said. "His hard-charging driving style has led to memorable moments that will live forever in the history of our sport. Carl's passion and personality will greatly be missed -- as will the signature backflips that NASCAR fans have come to expect following his victories. We wish Carl nothing but the best as he enters this next phase in life.

Source: ESPN

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