There’s little doubt in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s thoughts that if he hadn’t sustained accidents all through his profession he’d nonetheless be racing.
Typically it takes one thing severe to place every thing into perspective for you, and for Dale Earnhardt Jr. just a few concussions was sufficient for him to depart the racing world and take into consideration his well being.
His first concussion occurred in 2012 when a 23-car crash befell at Talladega Superspeedway on the ultimate lap of the race. The harm sidelined Earnhardt Jr. for the following two races. Then in 2016 he missed the second half of the racing season after being recognized with concussion-like signs.
Whereas Earnhardt continued to race for one last 12 months in 2017, the concussions have been taking a toll on him and led to his retirement.
“If I had not been injured I’d be racing immediately, there’s little doubt about it,” Earnhardt Jr. advised FanSided’s Mark Carman. “The accidents modified my perspective, priorities and values 180 levels. Once I was damage, I used to be so scared I used to be going to be caught with these signs with the remainder of my life and that made me wish to get as distant from racing as potential. I had so many different issues I needed to do and I didn’t wish to be damaged or compromised to expertise these items for the remainder of my life.”
Though Earnhardt Jr. says his racing profession wouldn’t have ended when it did, his determination to retire wasn’t a very tough one to make. In reality, he thinks his retirement was more durable for his household and followers to take care of than him.
“I used to be able to be performed and to get off that trip,” Earnhardt Jr. stated. “There had been plenty of ups and downs and the ups are actually nice, however the downs are actually actually low. To lastly get off that practice I’ve been on for a very long time, I used to be prepared.”
Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t fully stepped away from the racing world. As a substitute of spending race days behind the wheel, now he’s up within the broadcast sales space calling all of the motion because it unfolds. Whereas he misses being down on the observe, the joy that he nonetheless has for the game exudes when he commentates a race, and this Sunday when he attends his first Indianapolis 500 race, he’ll be driving the tempo automobile.
A wave of feelings will run by means of him as he leads the pack of racers on the observe at what is taken into account “The Biggest Spectacle in Racing,” and whereas it doesn’t result in the identical feelings as competing for a primary place end, Earnhardt will be capable of scratch that itch in August when he races within the NASCAR XFinity Sequence Sports activities Clips Haricuts VFW 200 at Darlington.
“I really like having the ability to anticipate this one race all 12 months lengthy and having the ability to stay up for it however as soon as it’s over I’m reminded why I adore it, however I’m additionally reminded why I don’t do it anymore,” Earnhardt stated.