In what can only be called a shocking decision, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has announced his intent to retire from racing at the conclusion of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
One can only wonder if missing the final 18 races last season due to a concussion played a role in Earnhardt’s decision to walk away at just 42 years of age.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that watching others walk away from their respective sports before it was too late, like Carl Edwards did earlier this year, had an impact.
And then there’s the thought of Jr.’s father, Dale Sr., dying before his 50th birthday in that infamous crash at Daytona that may have influenced this choice.
Whatever the cause, here’s hoping Jr. can enjoy his life after retirement and suffer no ill-effects from his decades of racing.