Dale Earnhardt Jr reflects on his final season, talks season-long concussion worries
This weekend, Dale Earnhardt Jr ends his full-time NASCAR career. Following Homestead, his career will come to a close with 631 total starts.
Following Talladega Superspeedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr admitted he was thankful to make it out of there without injury. All year, he’s been racing with a higher than usual risk.
Dale Earnhardt Jr has suffered from multiple concussions. Each time you suffer a concussion, the next one is more likely. On top of that, they get worse.
Worries of another concussion
“There’s days when you don’t think about it,” Dale Earnhardt Jr told reporters at the Homestead-Miami media center. “There’s days where you’re just not reminded of it.”
“There’s chunks of time through the race weekend where you don’t even think about it. Then, there’s tracks where you’ve had concussions before and you can’t not think about it.”
“Sometimes it was in the way. Sometimes, it wasn’t.”
“Oh no, I don’t need to reconsider. This is great timing for me. It’s time for somebody else to get in that car and get out of it what they can.”
“With Alex, it’s his time. You know, his moment. Mine, in my heart, has ran it’s course. I felt very good about that decision, before the race started at Daytona, in February. That this was it.”
“I was more thankful to complete this year than to ever question whether I should go farther. With everything we’ve been through with the concussion and trying to come back. It was always, ‘this is the last year.’ ”
“When I started in Daytona, I didn’t know whether I would finish it. You know, feeling delicate, feeling compromised and knowing how easy that could happen again.”
“I confided in my friends, family and my wife that I was worried that I could get another concussion. And how disappointing that would be. So, I’m sitting here healthy and I’m gunna run this last race. And I got all the way through the year. I feel blessed.”
Goals for this weekend?
“I’d like to finish the race and finish in one piece. Wherever that is. Obviously, you wanna do as well as you can. But, no matter where we finish, just be able to pull down pit road, stop the car and get out.”
“It would be kinda a heartbreaker if we had some kind of issue that took us out of the event and not be able to finish.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr’s best finish in 2017 came back on April 9th, 2017. He finished 5th at Texas Motor Speedway.
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