Here’s what Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in updating his health, NASCAR future

 Here’s what Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in updating his health, NASCAR future

Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted Sunday that he has no business being in a racecar. But he also said he is feeling better and seeing progress in his long, slow recovery from a brain injury. And, in the most positive statement fans could hear, Earnhardt says he has no plans to retire. Speaking with media members ahead of Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR’s most popular driver offered insight and information on his recovery from concussion-like symptoms. There were frightening words about his health, including his doctor saying Earnhardt was very sick when he first saw him in mid-July.

However, there were also positives as Earnhardt discussed his recovery process, and Dr. Micky Collins gave details on Junior’s treatment and progress. As a car owner, Rick Hendrick spoke of his affection for Earnhardt, not just as an employee but also as a family member. Here are comments, edited for brevity, by Earnhardt in his Sunday media conference. “All the stuff and hard work we are doing are paying off. It’s certainly fun to be here at the racetrack, see the team, and be in this atmosphere that you get so used to being in a week-in and week-out. I’m happy to be here today. I’m getting good exercise as we speak.

Dale Earnhardt Jr

“It has been an exciting experience, and I’ve learned a tonne. I greatly respect Micky and his group, and the direction they are giving me is working. “I struggled with my eyes for a while, and I’m starting to see improvements there. I was thrilled to wake up one day, feel a difference, and start seeing improvement there. Riding in a car or walking to gain stability is starting to improve, which was a major relief because that was probably the most difficult thing to deal with. My balance is miles better than it was when I first went to see Micky World Scoop. “It’s been a good experience, and I’m looking forward to getting well and definitely on the right track.”

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On the disappointment of having his season end

“When we first went to see Micky, I anticipated the experience to be similar to what I had in the past. We would work on getting better, and it would happen in a relatively short period. I would drive a car before the end of the season. As we continued to get evaluated, we realized it would be more of a process.


“It’s the right decision considering how I feel personally and physically. I don’t belong in a racecar today. You don’t know how long this process will take, and we want to be healthy and able to compete. Still, we don’t want to take any risks and reinjure ourselves or put ourselves in a situation where we can erase all the hard work that we have done to get better. “I do not hear things from Micky that I don’t already know about myself. I’m very disappointed. “I would love to be competing with my guys. We are obviously out of the Chase and all that stuff, but I’m not concerned about that. I just enjoyed what I was doing, my job, and I have a great group of guys who believe in me as a driver. It’s a difficult decision.

Dennis Bailey

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