RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 10: (L-R) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet, Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 ARRIS Surfboard Toyota, and Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 3M/American Red Cross Chevrolet, talk after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

NASCAR driver will receive the Stan Musial Award for sportsmanship

Each year, several athletes are honored for outstanding sportsmanship at the Musial Awards, which is named after late St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial.

Carl Edwards is one of a handful of athletes being honored at the 2017 Musial Awards, and he is the only NASCAR driver being recognized. The award is designed to "honor this year's greatest moments of sportsmanship and the biggest names in sports for their class and character," and Edwards is being recognized for his actions at last year's championship race at Homestead.

According to the awards committee, here's why Edwards is being honored:

"Last November at Homestead--Miami Speedway, Edwards was among four drivers in contention for NASCAR's Cup Series championship. He led the season finale race with 10 laps to go. But as he tried to block competitor Joey Logano from passing him on a restart, the two drivers crashed, ending Edwards' shot for his first Cup Series title.

"Instead of losing his cool, as other athletes might have done, Edwards took the high road and showed pure class. He walked over to Logano's pit crew, shook hands with crew chief Todd Gordon, and wished the team good luck. It was a gesture of extraordinary sportsmanship that was lauded throughout NASCAR.

"Based on the character he has shown throughout his career, it was not a surprise Edwards would take such a gracious approach. Winner of NASCAR's Busch Series in 2011 and holder of 28 Cup Series wins, the Columbia, Mo., native's success on the track is equaled by the class, respect and humility he has personified over time."

Related: Carl Edwards Walks Away From NASCAR

The awards ceremony will be held on Nov. 18 at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis.

Edwards retired after last season despite being so close to winning the championship. It's difficult to imagine being that gracious after being so close to winning, so Edwards definitely earned the sportsmanship award.

(h/t NBC Sports)