CONCORD, N.C. —
And now, in the age of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, missing a race will take a driver out of title contention.
That’s the dilemma Earnhardt faced on Aug. 29 when he crashed hard into the wall during a tire test at Kansas. He admitted this week that he suffered a concussion in that wreck, but didn’t seek treatment because of his championship chances. He was third in points at the time, and the start of the Chase was just three weeks away.
If a doctor said he couldn’t race, his entire season would go to waste.
“With the Chase coming up, I didn’t know how difficult — if I was to volunteer myself to get medical attention and be removed from the car, I didn’t know how difficult it would be to get back in,” he said.