Racing strained former driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s body, but he’s “really proud” that his stories in a recent memoir have helped people.
The 47-year-old told People he’s not feeling any “lasting effects” from driving. The recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee reportedly suffered 20 to 25 concussions during his long career.
He suffered a second concussion in four years during the 2016 race season and quit in 2017.
“I feel pretty good about where I’m at personally and health-wise,” Earnhardt Jr. said.
He’s keeping busy with his vodka brand, among other things. But he said his 2018 memoir, “Racing to the Finish: My Story,” has helped others.
Junior’s Book Helps Others With Head Injuries
The NBC commentator told the magazine that he’s “really proud of the effect that book has had on people.”
Junior recounted how University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program executive director Michael Collins said the book’s helped others.
Earnhardt Jr. said, “Micky tells me every day that somebody walks into his office because of it. So that’s pretty cool.”
Junior said he “never expected” helping others in that way, “so that’s been a great experience.”
An overview of the book tells of the former racer’s struggle. Junior said he tried to work through concussions, but he kept private notes about increasing symptoms. He talked about how he’d go through Sunday car wrecks, struggle during the week, and then recover in time for the next race. The book tells of those notes and struggles before knowing it was time to get out of racing. He also expressed his frustration with a slow recovery and talked about Amy’s support through his process.
Past Few Months A Whirlwind For Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In addition to the NASCAR induction and the vodka brand, Junior kept busy working on his cars and lifting weights.
But he’s also a dad to two beautiful girls.
He told the magazine that he’s “so thankful” for being a dad. Just as scary (just kidding) was that NASCAR induction in January. His wife, Amy, gave an induction speech before earning the honor.
“It was really surreal to have Amy on the stage introducing me and calling me up to the podium. That was a very incredible moment for me personally, that she was involved that much in the ceremony,” he said.
The Charlotte NASCAR Hall of Fame event turned into a night of familiar faces for the former racer. He said it was “great to look out into the crowd” and “highlight a few people that were very important to my journey.”
“I was so happy I had the opportunity to really say something to them personally in front of a lot of people,” the man said.