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Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives explanation of eye test after Daytona 500 crash

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After Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in the wreck that knocked him out of Sunday’s Daytona 500, he did something unusual – but also something that has and will continue to become more normal for him as time goes on.

In laymen’s terms, Earnhardt gave himself an “eye test” to make sure he did not suffer any type of concussion-like symptoms from the impact.

During his weekly online podcast Monday, titled “Moving on after up ‘n down Speedweeks,” Earnhardt was very illustrative and candid about how he self-tested and self-diagnosed himself to make sure he wasn’t in any type of danger while he awaited rescue workers to get to him.

What Earnhardt said is fascinating in its context and content:

“We got a lot of questions and conversation about doing an eye test inside the car. So after the accident, we were sitting on the front straightaway, we got a red flag, so I decided to do a little self-diagnosing of my head.

“Obviously, going through everything we went through last year, I’m pretty self-aware and I understand there are a few things I can do. I’ve done a lot of training and rehab on my own over the last six months to get this concussion cleared up. So I understand a lot of things I can do to understand where I’m at, how healthy I am and whether I have any issues.

“One of those is a very simple eye test. Basically, you take the point of your finger, the end of your finger, or a dot on a piece of paper and bring it slowly close, kind of in-between your eyes to your nose. That dot or whatever the target is you’re looking at, you need to be able to hold that dot as one.

“What I mean is that as you get closer to your nose, eventually your eyes are going to go bonkers and it’s going to split and you’re going to see two dots. That needs to happen right off the tip of your nose, real close within an inch or so.

“If you have a head injury or any type of concussion, that object will split much further out, six inches or a foot out. That’s when you know you’ve got a little bit of an event going on in your head, however you want to describe it.”

Earnhardt first started using the self-test in December when he tested at Darlington Speedway to get medical clearance to return to driving a race car.

“It’s just a real quick, simple self-test that a doctor can use. When we were at Darlington testing for the clearance in December, (Dr. Jerry Petty) was there. Every time I got in the car, that was the first thing he did, over and over and over. When you go to Dr. Petty and say you think you have a concussion, that’s the first thing he’s going to do.

“I obviously brought a lot of attention to myself unnecessarily and I regret that, but I’m sitting there under the red flag and it’s eating me alive. A lot of the symptoms that I’ve had in concussions in the past, I don’t feel when I’m inside in the car, sitting down. Your heart is thumping, racing.

“That’s the only thing I could do to go okay, this looks normal, this feels normal. I should have waited until I got out of the car and not drawn so much attention to myself, but I couldn’t wait under the red flag and I wanted to know.”

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NASCAR America: NASCAR’s stars hit the track for the ‘Little 600’ (video)

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Like more than three dozen of his NASCAR Cup counterparts, Joey Logano is gearing up for the longest race of the year, Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

To warm up, Logano, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. and other NASCAR drivers headed to the GoPro Motorplex in North Carolina for the “Little 600.”

Check out how they fared in the above video that was on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America.

 

Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

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CONCORD, N.C. — Kevin Harvick will start on the pole for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, marking the second consecutive race at Charlotte Motor Speedway he has led the field to the green flag.

Harvick, a two-time Coke 600 winner, earned the top starting spot Thursday night with a lap of 193.424 mph in his Ford. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch, who won last weekend’s All-Star Race.

Chase Elliott starts third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Erik Jones.

Points leader Kyle Larson will start 39th in the 40-car field after not making a qualifying attempt. He hit the wall in practice and then his team couldn’t get through qualifying inspection until one minute remained in the opening round of the session. The team was unable to get Larson out of the garage in time to make an attempt.

Click here for Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Slugger Labbe: How do crew chiefs prepare for grueling Coca-Cola 600? (video)

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Veteran crew chief Slugger Labbe stopped by the NASCAR America studio in Charlotte on Thursday.

Labbe gave his perspective on how NASCAR Cup crew chiefs will prepare for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. While the race length will be the same as it has been for decades, one significant change will have crew chiefs developing strategy that they’ve never had to deal with in the 600, namely, four different race stages.

Labbe also gave his take on the positives and negatives of the Laser Inspection Station for both pre- and post-race inspections.

Check out the above video.

NASCAR: Remembering Martin Truex Jr.’s dominating 2016 Coca-Cola 600 win

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In one of the most dominating performances in NASCAR history, Martin Truex Jr. turned last year’s Coca-Cola 600 into a runaway one-man show, leading the field for 392 of 400 laps.

Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America took a look back at Truex’s record-setting win.

Check out the video above.