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.”