Dale Earnhardt Jr. is at a crossroads. He even now enjoys racing, but he doesn’t want to compete extra than at the time a yr. He cannot even assure he will race again.
Immediately after ending fifth in the Hooters 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway while racing for his individual group, JR Motorsports – his to start with race considering the fact that past August — Earnhardt sounded torn.
“I feel appropriate now, it’s just heading to continue to be the very same,” Earnhardt instructed reporters. “I really do not want to do any additional, that’s for certain. I can say that with self esteem. I really do not know how several additional of these I’ll do. This may possibly be the last one. And this ain’t no tease or nearly anything like that. I’m not attempting to be irritating about that. It’s a great deal of a dedication, and I just, I really don’t know.
“I really do not know if it’s having to the level wherever I have gotta make your mind up no matter if I’m serving to things or I’m not supporting the group. How can I assist the group in other strategies? I really don’t know. I genuinely get pleasure from it. I actually do. But I feel there is gotta be a point to the place I choose to make the alter to broadcasting totally, and with that explained though, getting in the automobile currently, I unquestionably learned a ton that’s going to assistance me in the booth. I have just gotta consider about it, you know? I undoubtedly never want to run additional. A person is loads.”
Because of to constraints from the novel coronavirus pandemic, the 45-yr-aged Earnhardt experienced no apply or qualifying for the 2nd-tier Xfinity Series race. It was his 3rd straight best-5 finish. Still, he however explained to Fox Sporting activities, “my time is functioning out.” Earnhardt retired from the NASCAR Cup Collection after the 2017 season, but has still taken element in the Xfinity Collection after a yr.
“I was genuinely, truly nervous. I started off to assume to myself, ‘How can it be achievable for anyone to race in any of the top rated-3 sequence without having possessing any laps and not obtaining pushed a auto in a yr?’” he explained. “I know I got some laps, and I’ve been all-around for a whilst. But I was authentic nervous! I truly was due to the fact I believed I understood form of what the drivers’ mindset may be in these sorts of situations in excess of the very last quite a few months with no laps, no observe, just a ton of force.
“But I definitely underestimated. It is more durable than I considered. It’s far more panic than I would have imagined, and so I was a minimal hard to be about the past few times, just owning the panic of it.
“I labored myself up for the last 72 hours, and we operate improved than I believed we would,” Earnhardt went on. “When that race began, we did not have terrific pace. The car was not turning truly very well. But as we would run, we just would go ’em! I really don’t know that the automobile drove much better as the race went on, but we just could hang in there and financial institution some time on more mature tires.”