Dale Earnhardt Jr says he is finding retirement from the NASCAR Cup Series “weird”, and that it is not a “comfortable feeling.”
Earnhardt completed his final NASCAR season at the season finale at Homestead after struggling throughout 2017, failing to make the playoffs, after missing most of ’16 with a concussion that left him “delicate and compromised“.
Earnhardt will become a TV commentator next season and will be the grand marshal for the 2018 Daytona 500 as he remains keen to stay in NASCAR.
But the former Hendrick Motorsports driver says he is finding retirement from competition has a strange feeling so far.
“It’s felt weird, to be honest with you to be finished with the season and knowing that you’re not going to go back and start another one,” he said.
“Being away from the sport is so weird. Just being home for Thanksgiving is a very odd feeling and not a comfortable feeling at all.
“I’m always going to want to be around the track. I’m always going to want to be around the sport and involved in the competition somehow, some way.
“If I ever thought I was just going to quit cold turkey, I must have been kidding myself because just being away for a couple of days, it’s difficult.”
Hendrick Motorsports will replace both Earnhardt and Kasey Kahne next season, with Xfinity champion William Byron joining multiple Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, rookie Alex Bowman and Chase Elliot for 2018.