Brian Scott to retire after this season

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Brian Scott will retire from driving in NASCAR after this season to focus on his family, he announced Thursday.

Also, Albertsons Companies announced it would terminate its NASCAR program at the end of the season with Scott’s departure. Richard Petty Motorsports stated that it will field the No. 44 car next season.

“To all my fans, friends, crew members (past & present) and wonderful people I’ve met in racing over the years: First, I want to say thank you for the support, friendship and good memories made,” Scott wrote on his Facebook page. “My decision to end one chapter in my life and change my focus going forward was not a decision I made or approached lightly. Racing has always been a passion of mine, and that will never change.

“Over the past couple of years I have begun a family of my own, and it has grown. I’m blessed to have an amazing wife and two incredible kids. The Sprint Cup Series schedule has taken its toll on me and caused me to re-evaluate what I want in life for myself and for my family. Through countless time in prayer with my family, the Lord has made it clear its time for me to focus on my family and put them first. I would be lying to say I wont miss racing, in fact I will miss it very much, but I’m looking forward to making memories with my family hunting, fishing, camping, (at) ball games, recitals, and being there to support them in whatever they decide to do!

“I can’t possibly name everyone that has supported me through the years, but I take comfort in knowing that you all know who you are. It has meant the world to me to have your friendship and unwavering support over the years. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart! God Bless. Sincerely, Brian”

Scott, 28, has competed in NASCAR’s national series since 2007. He raced in the Camping World Series through 2009. He ran in the Xfinity Series from 2010-15. He joined Richard Petty Motorsports this season, scoring a career-best finish of second at Talladega Superspeedway last month.

“Brian made it to and competed at a level that very few do in NASCAR,” said Brian Moffitt, Chief Executive Officer, Richard Petty Motorsports, in a statement. “Brian became part of the Petty family this year, and he committed himself to making our organization better. We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know Brian and wish him nothing but the best for him and his family.”

Albertsons explained its decision to leave NASCAR in a statement.

“Local sports sponsorships are an important part of our marketing strategy in communities across the country,” said Albertsons Companies Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer Shane Sampson. “While we have decided to focus our investments elsewhere in 2017, we appreciate the work that Brian, Richard Petty Motorsports and the entire No. 44 team put forth for Albertsons Companies this year, and we wish them the very best in the future.”