Dale Earnhardt Jr., Nascar’s most popular driver, has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season.
Earnhardt will be 43 this October is newly married and plans on starting a family. His wife posted the following after his announcement:
— Amy Earnhardt (@AmyEarnhardt) April 25, 2017
After a pair of concussions in a six-week stretch, Earnhardt sat out two races in the 2012 playoffs. Two severe wrecks during last year also left him sidelined for the final 18 races of the season. The concussions left him with nausea, double vision, anxiety and a multitude of other symptoms. This gave him a new perspective about the effects of brain injuries on athletes, and Earnhardt advocated for change in working with NASCAR to develop its concussion protocol. Just two months before his 2016 injury, he announced that he would donate his brain for scientific research upon his passing.
The 14-time Most Popular Driver has won 26 times in 603 starts over a career that began at age 24 in 1999. Among his accomplishments are two Daytona 500 crowns (2004, 2014) and two championships (1998, 1999) in what is now called the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Earnhardt and team owner Rick Hendrick will address the media at 3 p.m.