Dale Earnhardt Jr. will wait to sign contract extension

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s contract expires after this season, but he’s not in a hurry to sign an extension.

Earnhardt said the delay is not a sign he is ready to quit driving; rather, he just wants a couple months to figure out whether his health will allow him to continue racing beyond this season.

“When I got hurt last year and what I saw it put the company through….I don’t want to do that again,” he told a group of reporters Saturday. “So I want to get some races under my belt and get confidence in my health before I can commit to him. I don’t want to make any promises I can’t deliver on.”

Earnhardt said he thinks he can race for “a couple” more years, but — despite asking himself the question — hasn’t been able to put a date on exactly when he might stop (should his health allow him to keep going).

But one thing is for sure, he said: He’s racing because he wants to be at the track and has a passion to keep competing.

“It’s not going to be a lot of fun to retire,” he said. “You’ve seen a lot of people, athletes retire. It seems a very difficult press conference to have. When I’m ready to do that, I’ll be making that decision knowing it’s the right thing to do. When I’m ready to do it, it’s going to have to be done.”


7 Replies to “Dale Earnhardt Jr. will wait to sign contract extension”

  1. Jr., hesitation kills at crucial moments. I’ll not question your desire to compete, but as a lifelong Earnhardt fan I sincerely wish you would move on to what is going to be an incredibly fun and successful career as an owner of what I have little doubt will be the most popular race team ever. Be happily married, raise a wonderful family and take your race team to unimaginable heights. Love you man!

  2. we wish Dale Jr. all the best,but only Dale Jr.knows how he feels.it’s his health.gosh! would miss him so much!!! i have always been a Earnhardt fan, so it wouldn’t be the same if he was gone!!! not really sure i would watch it as much.unless i pull for Chase!! but Jr. i wish you all the best. a fan forever!!!!

  3. I was wondering why Bowman didn’t get a ride this year. I’d imagine they told him to stick around and he may get the 88, or Kahne’s.

    1. Most guys would rather hang around for the possibility of getting a Hendrick ride, than take a ride with a lesser team. Bowman has certainly earned his shot. Hendrick is definitely keeping him in the wings. Dale Jr could suffer another setback. It’s also possible that if Kasey’s performance doesn’t improve, he could be out before the season is over. We don’t see too many drivers getting released during the season, but it could happen.

  4. Dale Jr. has the luxury of knowing that a contract extension is his if he wants it. Hendrick also knows that Jr. won’t hang around too long and have to be pushed out, rather than leave/retire on his own. So both parties seem pretty aligned and, in theory, there’s no rush to get a deal done. I’ll be honest and say I’m surprised Jr. came back. I honestly thought he was going to retire after this latest concussion. I wish him nothing but good health and hope his is able to continue racing. But health is more important than anything else, and he will not have to worry about how to keep himself busy or make money in his retirement. He can write his own ticket.

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