Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.

Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.

INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

Five days after Amy Earnhardt wrote that it wouldn't be "worth the risk" to see her husband compete in next year's Clash at Daytona, Earnhardt said that outsiders don't understand what the family endured as he recovered from concussion symptoms last year.

"She's been there for everything," Earnhardt said. "A lot of folks that may have a different opinion about it weren't there through the whole process. If anyone knows how difficult it was beside me, it would be her. It wasn't a lot of fun for her."

The most popular driver in NASCAR's Cup series announced in April he would retire after this season, in part because of his injury history. Two big crashes last summer forced him out of the final 18 races.

Earnhardt appeared to reopen possibly returning to Daytona after winning the pole there three weeks ago. He said he told team owner Rick Hendrick that competing in the Clash would be something his wife "needed to warm up to."

She hasn't.

"I've received many comments on Dale Jr running the 2018 Clash based on whether or not I give my blessing," she wrote on Twitter Tuesday night. "Considering his struggles last fall with his injury, we are very blessed that he is now healthy, happy and able to enjoy his final season … and hopefully many years beyond racing. So my answer is simple. It's not worth the risk to his health."

KYLE BUSCH ON POLE: Kyle Busch won the pole position as he chases an unprecedented third consecutive NASCAR Brickyard 400 victory today in Indianapolis.

Busch earned the top qualifying spot on his final lap with a speed of 187.301 mph on the 2½-mile oval. Kevin Harvick was second at 186.332, and Jamie McMurray qualified third.

It's the second consecutive year Busch has claimed the Brickyard pole. The only other Cup drivers with back-to-back pole wins at the Brickyard are Jeff Gordon in 1995 and 1996 and Ernie Irvan in 1997 and 1998.

"Obviously, we've had a really fast car," Busch said.

Busch is trying to become the second driver to win three consecutive races at Indy. Former Formula One star Michael Schumacher won the U.S. Grand Prix four times in a row, all on the road course.

Earnhardt qualified 13th.

XFINITY: Rookie William Byron bobbed and weaved through the final two laps and held off Paul Menard to win the Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis. The victory margin of 0.108 seconds was the narrowest in race history. Busch was 12th, failing in his bid to become the first driver to win five consecutive races on Indy's 2½-mile oval. Byron, 19, blocked Menard while completing the final laps with a deflating tire. "I can't believe that tire held," Byron said. "But it is awesome, man."

NHRA: Leah Pritchett took the No. 1 Top Fuel qualifying position in the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. Pritchett set an elapsed-time track record with a 3.733-second pass at 326.24 mph during the fourth and final qualifying session. Courtney Force topped Funny Car qualifying, Drew Skillman took the No. 1 spot in Pro Stock, and Eddie Krawiec was the fastest in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona 07/22/17 [Last modified: Saturday, July 22, 2017 11:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated

    Footballpreps

    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Vernon Hargreaves needs to improve

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs now rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 301 yards per game in their 2-3 start, and coach Dirk Koetter was asked Monday how concerned he is with the play of second-year CB Vernon Hargreaves.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, throwing an incompletion under pressure after replacing injured Jameis Winston against the Cardinals,  would start this Sunday in Buffalo if Winston’s shoulder is still bothering him.
  4. Backhand shot makes Nikita Kucherov's offense even more dangerous

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — Nikita Kucherov is on a historic streak, just the fourth player in the past 30 years to score a goal in each of his first six games.

    Nikita Kucherov’s backhand shot adds to his strong scoring.
  5. Rick Pitino officially fired by Louisville amid federal corruption probe

    College

    In an expected move, the University of Louisville Athletic Association's Board of Directors on Monday voted unanimously to fire men's basketball coach Rick Pitino. The decision came 19 days after Louisville acknowledged that its men's basketball program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe and …

    In this Oct. 20, 2016, file photo, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino reacts to a question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky. Louisville's Athletic Association on Monday officially fired Pitino, nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe. [AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File]