I admire Carl Edwards.  To recognize that he didn't have quite the passion he once did for this sport and to subsequently make the decision to walk away even though he could still contend for championships, took a lot of toughness.

Either that or a lot of fear.  And, while Edwards may have been rattled a little after that wreck at Homestead, I don't believe we were to the fear stage yet.

For those of us who have been fans of NASCAR or any other sport, we have all seen competitors who have stuck around too long.  In some cases, way too long.  Some didn't want to admit their skills had diminished to the point that they needed to step aside.  Some didn't care how much they'd lost, the lure of the greenback was too much.

None of that fazed Edwards.  The thought of facing another 38 weeks on the road was too much.  He wanted to spend time with his family and he wanted to walk away healthy.  Most importantly, he says he's satisfied with his career.

And, you know what, if our last memory of Carl Edwards is giving everything he had to win a title…we should be too.