Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been recently cleared for the racetrack again after his concussion back in July. Is his team ready for what’s next?
Man, it really says something about your resilience when you’re able to take a massive hit and pick yourself right back up. Hendrick Motorsport took one such hit back during the summer season when their driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. sustained a concussion out on the track. The concussion has kept Dale out of participating in the races for several solid months, but the end is finally in sight.
Earnhardt Jr. has been cleared by medical professionals to race once again, and his team couldn’t be happier to see him. However, it hasn’t been an easy ride for them in the interim when they lost dale. Hendrick’s crew chief Greg Ives recalls how the team had to band together to sustain such a loss:
“We really couldn’t get much lower from where we were at when it came to team morale, to losing Dale, to the company having to sink its teeth into this and realize that if we didn’t lock arms, we’re not going to get any better.” – Greg Ives
And lock arms they did. Ives and Co. rallied behind substitute driver Alex Bowmen to stage a comeback that would let them continue to live up to the Hendrick name.
— Hendrick 88 Team (@Hendrick88Team) January 31, 2017
“Dale’s injury was unfortunate. In the end, we knew we had the ability, it was a question of putting it all together. As the company got better, I think the whole team started gaining confidence. When that incident happened with Dale, I think our hearts sank a little bit and we wondered, ‘What next?’” – Greg Ives
“What next” is beginning to sound a lot less like a fearful wondering and more like a definitive forecast from the Hendrick team. Here’s to wishing Dale all the best in time for him to firmly plant his ass in NASCAR once again.