This was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in December.
“Being finished with the season and knowing you’re not going back to start another one is a weird feeling,” Earnhardt said. “Just being home for Thanksgiving is a very odd feeling and not a comfortable feeling at all.”
What a difference a few months make. This is Dale Jr. now, in remarks to Racer.com
“I walked around every day of my life with a thousand pounds on my shoulders that was Sunday. What was going to happen, how was I going to run, and I think every driver does that. Now that that’s off my shoulders and I don’t have to worry about that anymore, everything in my life is so much more enjoyable.”
He still has other things on his plate, of course. His JR Motorsports team finished 1-2 in the closest finish in NASCAR history on Saturday. He’s doing broadcasting for NBC. He has all sorts of endorsement opportunities.
And that weird feeling is apparently gone.
“It’s actually been really nice to not have to worry about performance or living up to expectations or your own or someone else’s,” Earnhardt said. “It’s been great to get all that off my shoulders. This is the first race we’ve won on a Saturday [and] I have not had to worry about Sunday.”
Retirement? Yeah, it seems to be agreeing with him.