Scott Fowler

When Dale Earnhardt Jr. retires, what will replace the adrenalin rush of racing?

Amy Earnhardt, left with husband Dale Earnhardt Jr., center, walk together during the Catwalk for a Cause casino night and charity event at the Statesville Municipal Airport with Camden (back to camera) on May 18th. Earnhardt and Amy were married on New Year’s Eve and have spoken openly about wanting to have their own children one day.
Amy Earnhardt, left with husband Dale Earnhardt Jr., center, walk together during the Catwalk for a Cause casino night and charity event at the Statesville Municipal Airport with Camden (back to camera) on May 18th. Earnhardt and Amy were married on New Year’s Eve and have spoken openly about wanting to have their own children one day. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

What will NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. do to replace the adrenaline rush of racing once he retires?

“I don’t know if I’ve got to replace it,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said when I asked this question, and in this answer he sounded very much like a man ready to retire. “It’s just something I did in my life. It’s not really who I am.”

It’s just something I did in my life. It’s not really who I am.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., on racing

Earnhardt said in some ways it would be a relief not to have to build himself up to an emotional peak as he does on every race weekend. Said the driver: “I really am looking forward to not having the adrenalin rush every week. … These seasons are long, and it’s been a lot of years. It’s been a long time. And I know 42 or 43 is not old as far as drivers go. But for me, it’s been a long, long time.”

So what would a perfect day in retirement look like for you?

“It’d be hard to fit everything into one day,” Earnhardt said. “Spending time with Amy, spending time with my family, working at JR Motorsports… Building my businesses outside of racing, working on my foundation, working on the (car) dealerships down in Tallahassee, working on Whisky River…. We’ve got our plate pretty full.”

More from Scott Fowler’s one-on-one with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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