Earnhardt Jr Admits Anxiety in Returning to NASCAR

After being forced to withdraw from racing in July due to a concussion sustained in an accident in Michigan, Dale Earnhardt Jr opens up about his anxiety regarding his return.

Sport staple and frequent recipient of the “most-charming smile” award Dale Earnhardt Jr has recently come forth regarding his feelings about returning to the track in 2017.

After such an absence Earnhardt is ready to come back, but not without reservations:

“You hope you can come back and jump right back in and not miss a beat, but this is the top series and any time you’re away you’re getting behind. I’m really anxious and curious where we shake up early in the season, how competitive we can be, what – if any – learning curve there is for me. We’ll figure all that out.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt was forced to sit out half of the 2016 season as what he believed to be sinus and allergy issues turned out to be a concussion he has sustained in Michigan in June. However, he’s recently gotten the all-clear from his doctors that his recovery is well on its way and that he’ll be race-ready by the time the start of the 2017 season rolls around.

Dale Earnhardt Jr will resurrect the famous "Gray Ghost" at the Bojangles Southern 500. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Dale Earnhardt Jr will resurrect the famous “Gray Ghost” at the Bojangles Southern 500. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Being forced to sit out of half a season would make anyone antsy, but at 42 years old in NASCAR, time isn’t on your side – and Dale is well aware of it:

“People have asked me since I turned 40 when I would retire and all I wanted to do was make that choice myself. I got real close to not being able to compete and it being someone else’s decision whether I competed or not. To get approved to race is one thing but to decide to race is another. Mentally, you have to make the decision if you want to keep racing. If you want to keep racing, you have to go in 100%.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr