Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Anyone interested in the topic of NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt Jr. heard the news about 9 a.m. today - Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring at the end of this season. This announcement comes on the heels of his missing the final 18 races of last season with debilitating concussion-like symptoms and in annual succession of the retirements of Jeff Gordon (before 2016) and Tony Stewart (2017) - arguably NASCAR's two most popular drivers behind Earnhardt Jr. The reasons Earnhardt Jr. has to retire - though he will articulate them later today - are obvious: after multiple concussions, he wants to live the rest of his life healthy and he turns 43 in October, so he can leave the sport on his own accord.
NASCAR's off week stretched one extra day...kind of. Rain postponed the annual Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway to Monday at 1 p.m. and raised even more questions about how the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars would take to the track. Track officials took to adding an adhesive substance again and again in a fine mist the bottom groove of the track. This is the latest attempt by BMS officials to drive racing back to the one-groove, bump-and-run, confrontational cadence that turned Thunder Valley's half-mile track into a coliseum.