Carl Edwards will not race in NASCAR in 2017.
According to FoxSports.com, Edwards, previously the driver of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, will step away from the sport in 2017, devoting his time to non-driving interests.
A press conference scheduled for Wednesday is expected to reveal Daniel Suarez as the driver of the No. 19 for 2017, sources told FoxSports.com. The report was corroborated by sources to ESPN as well.
Neither Edwards nor the team has officially commented on the news just yet.
It’s unclear whether Edwards’ exit from JGR — and NASCAR as a whole — is a move toward retirement or if Edwards will be back in a car at a later date.
The news comes as a bit of a shock as Edwards, 37, finished fourth in the Cup standings in 2016, leading the series with six poles. He managed three wins, nine top 5s and 18 top 10s. Edwards was in contention for his first Cup title at the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, losing out only after a crash on lap 257 relegated him to a 34th-place finish.
Suarez, meanwhile, is the defending XFINITY Series champion, scoring the title for Gibbs’ No. 19 team in the series. He has yet to compete in a Cup event.