After the racing legend said he was "disappointed" that Dale Jr. would be returning to NASCAR racing for the 2017 season, Dale finally issued a response.
There had been much speculation surrounding if Dale Earnhardt Jr. would return to racing for 2017 after he was pulled from racing halfway through last season due to a severe concussion that was sustained during two gnarly wrecks.
In the weeks leading up to the new NASCAR Premier Cup season, both Dale Jr. and his sponsor confirmed that he had made the decision to return to the track and get back out there in the Nationwide No. 88.
When speaking on a Fox Sports NASCAR segment, legendary driver Richard Petty expressed that he was "disappointed" Dale Jr. chose to return to the track, adding that he's been through a lot with this injury and he thinks it would have been a better choice to retire.
Now, Dale Jr. has issued his own statement directly addressing Petty's comments and suggestion that he should have just retired.
"I'm not disappointed in his comment," Dale Jr. said during a recent podcast. "Ever since I was injured and on my return, every time I see him now, he grabs me by the arm and kind of gives me this big bear hug or something, or puts his arm around you and asks you how you’re doing and asks you if you’re taking care of yourself"
"I wouldn’t have instigated that because he’s a legend. But he’s super engaged with me now. And he’s always asking me – concerned about my well-being. So I think his comment is basically saying, ‘I’m worried about Dale Jr. This is me caring about Dale as a person,’ nothing more."
With that, Dale Jr. appears to be fine with the comment and suggestion even though he has made the decision to go the other way. He will be returning to the track in just a few days' time on Feb. 26th for the world famous Daytona 500.
Watch the clip below with Petty's full statement and let us know what you think of all this in the comments.
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