As the days tick away towards the Oct. 16 release of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s book “Racing to the Finish: My Story,” the former NASCAR driver and now much-loved broadcaster says he is getting more uneasy by the day.
And for good reason.
“I have let some people close to me read it already, and parts of the story made them angry,” Earnhardt says in a brand new interview with One Country about the new book that chronicles the racer’s final year of racing and his slow recovery from a concussion suffered in a racing accident back in 2016. “People are going to be upset that I didn’t take better care of myself and that I wasn’t smarter about all of it and that I should have been more responsible. So yeah, I’m nervous.”
But despite his apprehension to speak his truth about all he has gone through in recent years, Earnhardt says its important for him to do so. “You have to admit your mistakes to help other people,” he explains. “The only way I could write the book was by telling the truth.”
And yes, sometimes the truth ain’t pretty.
“The most frustrating thing about concussions is that you can’t tell people what it’s like to have one,” he says. “People think you look fine, but you know you aren’t. And then you go to four or five doctors and you just get no results. And when you are feeling a certain way and thinking that feeling is going to be permanent, it’s the most crushing and depressing experience ever.”
Yet, in true Earnhardt fashion, Dale Jr. says he is determined to let this book serve as a tool for people dealing with such injuries. “Just writing the book was a huge release to me,” he says. “And I wanted to do something permanent. It’s forever. A televised interview can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. I wanted to document it more formally.”