While much of the NASCAR world is looking forward to the return of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to racing, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty believes Earnhardt shouldn’t for the sake of his own longterm health.
Petty told Fox Sports 1’s “NASCAR Race Hub” that he’d rather see the 42-year-old Earnhardt not return to racing for the sake of his own health.
Earnhardt has a history of racing-related concussions, including missing the second half of the 2016 season due to concussion symptoms.
“He’s lived half his life and he don’t need to be messed up going to the next [half],” Petty said of Earnhardt to Race Hub.
Earnhardt is eagerly anticipating his return to the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet next week at Daytona International Speedway.
Petty, however, cautions otherwise.
“I was a little disappointed that he did,” Petty told “Race Hub” of Earnhardt’s return. “I just feel like he got through with it two or three times, and he had some pretty big knocks in the head.
“I’ve had them too – I think I still live in one of them – but hitting mine was never that bad.”
Petty also noted in the “Race Hub” interview that Carl Edwards retired at the end of last season while still healthy.