Earnhardt Jr. Returns to Track This Weekend
It's a big NASCAR weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The Cup drivers race is on Sunday, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be in the 88 car.
He's returning after missing two weeks because of a concussion. For the past two weeks, he says he had a lot of time on his hands.
"I don't care how tough you think you are, when your mind is not working the way it's supposed to it scares the s*** out of you and you're not going to think about race cars. You're not going to think about trophies. You're not going to think about your job. You're going to be thinking about - what do I have to do to get my brain working the way it was before," said Earnhardt Jr.
He says it feels like he's been out of the car for a year, but if he didn't step away he could have put himself in danger. During his time away, he went to Pittsburgh where doctors ran him through several exercises and as a result "the last 15 days have been pretty normal."
"If I know I've suffered another concussion or if I have symptoms after an accident, I'm definitely going to be a lot more responsible about it," said Earnhardt Jr.
He said it was hard watching the 88 car turns laps without him in it . Now that he's returned, he doesn't just want to ease back in.
"I want to run hard and I want us to get into every weekend trying to do what we've been doing all year long," he said.
Prior to his arrival at Martinsville, he raced at a short track. His crew chief said they ran 125 laps and the times Junior ran were great. Will that translate to Martinsville? We'll have to wait and see.