Dale Earnhardt Jr. still has 'the itch' to race
Dale Earnhardt Jr. may have retired from full-time NASCAR racing, but that doesn't mean he never wants to race again.
"I have this itch or an urge to go race or run a race or just drive a car somewhere," Earnhardt said Thursday, via ESPN. "But I don't have a clear regret or a real urge that's got to be satisfied."
Earnhardt spent almost the entirety of the season in the broadcast booth with NBC in 2018, but he did find his way onto the track once for an Xfinity race in Richmond.
He finished fourth there and looked every bit of the competitor he always has been — he just didn't quite have the car to come away with a win.
That competitiveness, though, is something he credits for making his job in the booth more fulfilling.
"The way that I feel about (racing) and the way that I miss it is kind of healthy toward doing the job as a broadcaster," Earnhardt said. "It makes me excited to go watch the race and excited about what I'm going to see."
The 44-year-old had his growing pains this year in the booth but was happy to learn from his mistakes and will work to get better.
"The majority of the feedback that I got was positive, and that spurred me on just to keep digging and keep working and keep doing what I was doing," he said. "Hopefully that will be enough to keep me around for a while."
While Earnhardt has not indicated he wants to get back to racing full time, he would like to get in a car again. Immediately after finishing his Xfinity race in Richmond this year he said just that.
"We'll try to do another one next year, we'll see where we go," he said. "We'll be with Hellmann's again, and we have to figure out what race that's going to be."