Sports Lovers Rejoice

10.16.18

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Talks His New Book, "Racing To The Finish: My Story"

In his new book, "Racing to the Finish: My Story," Dale Earnhardt Jr. opens up about his frustration with the slow recovery, his admiration for the woman who stood by him through it all, and his determination to share his own experience so that others don’t have to suffer in silence. Steering his way to the final checkered flag of his storied career proved to be the most challenging race and most rewarding finish of his life.

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>>> HELLO WORLD. WHAT IS UP? WELCOME TO BUILD. WE'RE LIVE FROM THE BUILD STUDIO IN NEW YORK CITY. OUR GUEST IS A LEGEND. BORN FROM A FAMILY OF LEGENDS. HE’S A TWO-TIME DAYTONA 500 WINNER AND 15-TIME RECIPIENT OF THE MOST POPULAR DRIVER AWARD. HE HOLDS THE RECORD FOR LONGEST CONSECUTIVE WINS. IN HIS NEW BOOK, "RACING TO THE FINISH, MY STORY, HE PULLS THE CURTAIN ALL THE WAY BACK. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE MAKE A CRAZY AMOUNT OF NOISE AND WELCOME THE GREAT DALE EARNHARDT JR. RIGHT HERE. [ APPLAUSE ]

>>> OH, MAN.

>> YEAH.

>> DALE, CONGRATULATIONS, DUDE.

>> I KNOW. I'M EXCITED. THE BOOK IS OUT TODAY. TODAY IS THE DAY THAT EVERYONE CAN GO BUY THIS BOOK. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON IT FOR ALMOST A YEAR AND IT'S BEEN TOUGH TO HAVE TO RELIVE A LOT OF THE STORIES THAT ARE IN THE BOOK. IT'S BEEN A VERY DIFFICULT PROCESS GOING THROUGH THE CONCUSSIONS THAT I WENT THROUGH TOWARD THE END OF MISS CAREER. IT HAS A GREAT ENDING. LOOKING FORWARD TO PEOPLE READING IT.

>> THERE'S A LOT IN THERE THAT I WANT TO UNPACK AND GET INTO IT. I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS AND THE BOOK. BUT FIRST, HOW IS LIFE RIGHT NOW HOW'S AMY AND THE KID.

>> MY WIFE AMY IS DOING GREAT. SHE'S MISSING THE TRIP TO NEW YORK. SHE LOVES COMING TO NEW YORK WHEN I GET THE OPPORTUNITY. WE HAVE A 5-MONTH-OLD GIRL AT HOME AND SHE'S TAKING CARE OF THAT. CAN'T WAIT TO GET BACK AND SEE THEM. EVERYTHING'S JUST AWESOME. ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE BOARD. I TOOK A NEW JOB THIS YEAR AS BROADCASTER AND ANALYST FOR THE SPORT. PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY, IT'S GOOD.

>> GOOD TO HEAR. YOU MENTIONED AMY LOVES COMING TO NEW YORK CITY. I CAN'T THINK OF A MORE MADDENING SCENARIO FOR YOU THAN COMING TO NEW YORK -- HOW DO YOU GET AROUND?

>> I ALWAYS GET SERVICE OR TAXI OR WHATEVER. I DON'T KNOW HOW THOSE GUYS DO IT. I HAVE MAD RESPECT FOR ANYONE WHO HAS TO DRIVE TO GET AROUND THIS CITY. IT'S SO BIG, FOR ONE, AND THE TRAFFIC IS JUST A BEAR. YES, COMING INTO TOWN AND TRYING TO GET THROUGH THE TUNNEL AND BEING PATIENT, EVERYBODY'S HONKING. THERE ARE SO MANY HORNS. YOU DON'T KNOW WHY PEOPLE ARE HONKING. PEOPLE ARE HONKING JUST TO BE HONKING JUST TO MAKE SOME NOISE. WE JUST WANT TO BE SEEN. WELL, HOWEVER YOU DID IT, WHATEVER YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH I'M GRATEFUL YOU'RE HERE AND THIS BOOK IS HERE AND I'M VERY EXCITED FOR YOU, MAN. YOU TALKED ABOUT TODAY IS THE DAY. HAVE YOU SEEN A STACK OF THEM LIKE YET? HAVE YOU GONE TO THE STORE YET? IS IT REAL YET?

>> YEAH, I HAVE HAD SOME BOOKS IN MY HAND. WE HAVE BEEN KEEPING TRACK OF HOW MANY WERE SELLING TODAY AND HOW WE'RE DOING ON AMAZON AND SO FORTH. IT'S DOING GREAT. I JUST REALLY CAN'T WAIT TILL, YOU KNOW, WE START GETTING THE FEEDBACK ON SOCIAL MEDIA. PEOPLE TWEET ME DIRECTLY ABOUT READING IT. THEY'RE ALREADY DOING THAT NOW. AND HEARING THEIR PERSPECTIVE, WHAT THEIR TAKEAWAY WAS, THAT WILL BE THE REAL PAYOFF FOR ME.

>> WHEN YOU STARTED OPENING UP ABOUT HOW YOU WERE FEELING AND ALL THE NOTES AND YOU TOLD AMY, THERE WAS LIKE A RELIEF THAT YOU WERE OPENING UP AND LETTING SOMEBODY KNOW, WERE YOU NERVOUS THAT THOSE SAME NOTES WERE PRINTED, BOUND, IN THE HANDS OF FANS ALL OVER THE WORLD? WAS IT A COMPLICATED FEELING GOING INTO THE RELEASE BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF WHAT’S IN THERE?

>> ABSOLUTELY. THE CONTENTS ARE REALLY SENSITIVE AND PERSONAL TO ME AND PARTICULARLY THE NOTES THAT I WAS TAKING AS I WAS GOING THROUGH THIS PROCESS AND BEING INJURED AND SUFFERING CONCUSSION AFTER CONCUSSION AFTER CONCUSSION. KEEPING ALL OF THAT TO MYSELF. YET WRITING A JOURNAL TO SHARE THAT IS VERY PERSONAL. ANY TYPE OF JOURNAL IS, YOU KNOW, GOING TO BE DIFFICULT TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE, MUCH LESS EVERYONE OR ANYONE. BUT, I'VE BEEN ENCOURAGED BY MY DOCTOR, MICKEY COLLINS WHO I SAW WHEN I HAD THESE INJURIES. EVERY TIME HE HAD SEEN ME, WHEN I HAD DONE AN ARTICLE OR SOMETHING LIKE THIS, HE SAID, YOU KNOW, ANY TIME YOU DO THAT AND YOU'RE HONEST, OPEN AND TRANSPARENT, SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO HEAR IT HEARS IT AND THEN THEY COME TO SEE ME. AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK, SOMEBODY WALKS IN THE DOOR AND SAYS, WE ASK EVERYBODY HOW DO YOU GET HERE? THEY ALWAYS TIE IT BACK TO ME.

>> AND HE SAYS, PLEASE CONTINUE TO, YOU KNOW, BE OPEN AND TRANSPARENT, SHARE, ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO COME SEE ME WHO HAVE PROBLEMS. THAT WAS THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF WRITING THE BOOK AND PUTTING THAT WHOLE STORY OUT THERE TO BE COMPLETELY HONEST. PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD INJURIES OR HAVING PROBLEMS WILL READ IT AND IMMEDIATELY CONNECT TO THE DESCRIPTION OF THE SYMPTOMS, THE NOTE-TAKING, ALL THOSE THINGS, THEY'LL IMMEDIATELY CONNECT TO THAT AND KNOW THIS GUY'S NOT -- THIS GUY'S TELLING THE TRUTH. HE'S NOT SUGARCOATING IT AND HOPEFULLY THAT WILL GIVE THEM, YOU KNOW, SOME ABILITY TO TRUST WHAT THEY'RE READING. MICKEY IS ALSO INTERTWINED IN THE BOOK AT TIMES. WHEN I WAS STARTING TO WRITE THE BOOK I WAS BASICALLY -- MICKEY TO ME, HE HAS HELPED ME TWICE GETTING MY LIFE BACK. I'LL DO ANYTHING FOR THIS MAN, RIGHT, I ALWAYS TELL HIM, WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING, IF YOU NEED TO COME TALK AT SEMINARS, WHATEVER IT IS, TALK TO PEOPLE, TO HELP RAISE AWARENESS, CALL ME, TELL ME, I'LL BE THERE IN A MINUTE. WHEN I'M WRITING THIS BOOK, I'M MORE NERVOUS TO SHOW IT TO HIM THAN ANYONE, BECAUSE HE'S -- HE'S MY DOCTOR. AND SO, I WAS WANTING HIM TO READ THE COPY AND APPROVE IT. LIKE, YES, THIS IS GOOD. I'M PROUD OF IT. AND INSTEAD, HE'S LIKE, I LOVE IT. IT'S THE GREATEST THING YOU'VE EVER DONE. THIS IS GOING TO BE HUGE FOR HELPING PEOPLE. AND I'LL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT ME TO HELP YOU PROMOTE IT. I SAID, HOW ABOUT WRITE THE FOREWORD. WHEN I RAMBLE ON IN THE BOOK ABOUT WHAT I WAS FEELING IN LAYMAN TERMS, HE COULD SAY AS A DOCTOR, WHY HE'S FEELING THAT WAY. AND SO, IT REALLY TIES THE BOOK TOGETHER HAVING HIM INVOLVED. HE'S DOING A LOT OF THE MEDIA AS WELL TO HELP PROMOTE THE BOOK. THAT ADDS STABILITY AND SUBSTANCE AND CREDIBILITY TO MY STORY.

>> 100% IT DOES. YOU READ ABOUT WHAT AN AMAZING DUDE AND THE WORK YOU HAVE DONE TOGETHER. HIS POSITIVE ATTITUDE OF KNOWING -- NOT EVEN POSITIVE BUT A STRAIGHT-SHOOTER, THIS IS WHERE YOU'RE AT, THIS IS WHERE WE WANT TO GO. IT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE ALMOST NERVOUS TO SHOW MICKEY THIS WHOLE THING.

>> YEAH, I WAS WORRIED ABOUT HOW HE WOULD FEEL ABOUT ME WRITING A BOOK. I WANTED TO MICKEY TO READ IT AND GO, THIS IS GOING TO HELP SOMEBODY. IF IT DIDN'T, WE WERE GOING TO WRITE IT UNTIL HE DID. THAT WAS THE MISSION. HAVING HIM JUMP ON BOARD HAS BEEN GREAT. HE'S ALWAYS JUST BEEN REAL SUPPORTIVE. LIKE YOU SAY, HE'S BEEN A STRAIGHT SHOOTER. WHEN I WENT TO SEE HIM WHEN I WAS SICK, HE TOLD ME WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME. WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND WHAT WE WOULD DO TO FIX IT. AND HE NEVER -- HE NEVER FLUFFED IT. HE JUST -- I DON'T KNOW, THERE WAS ONE PARTICULAR TIME WHEN I WAS SICK AND I HAD THIS PROBLEM WITH MY EYES, YOUR EYES ARE TETHERED TOGETHER SO WHEN YOU LOOK, THEY BOTH GO AT WHATEVER DIRECTION YOU'RE LOOKING AT AND THEY DOING EVERYTHING TOGETHER. THEY FOCUS TOGETHER. WHEN YOU WALK ACROSS THE FLOOR, THE VIEW THAT YOU HAVE STABLE, RIGHT. WELL WHEN I HAD THE HEAD INJURY, AND I WOULD ACROSS THE FLOOR, THE WHOLE ROOM WOULD SHAKE. IT MADE THE WHOLE DAY COMPLETELY MISERABLE. ONLY SITTING ON A COUCH WITH YOUR HEAD COMPLETELY STILL WAS NORMAL.

>> THIS WENT ON FOR THREE MONTHS AND I WAS LIKE, ALL RIGHT, YOU KNOW, MICKEY SAID HE COULD FIX THIS STUFF AND NOW I'M STARTING TO HAVE MY DOUBTS. I CALLED HIM AND SAY, I HAVE TO TALK TO YOU A AND I'M REALLY, REALLY LOSING MY CONFIDENCE AND HOPE IN THE PROBLEM WITH MY EYES. AND I SAID I GOT TO ASK YOU FIRST, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BEFORE? EXACTLY WHAT I'M TELLING YOU, EXACTLY WHAT I'M DESCRIBING TO YOU, HAVE YOU SEEN THE EXACT THING, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT SYMPTOMS AND ISSUES WHEN IT COMES TO CONCUSSIONS. THEY'RE ALL LIKE SNOWFLAKES. YOURS WON'T BE LIKE MINE. NO ONE WILL HAVE TWO THE SAME. SO, HE SAID YES, I HAVE HEARD PEOPLE DESCRIBE THIS EXACT SAME PROBLEM. I'M LIKE, HOW MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE DID YOU FIX? HE SAID, I FIXED THEM ALL. SO, YOU KNOW, IT JUST -- WHEN YOU GO FOR -- AND THERE'S PEOPLE WHO DEAL WITH THESE SYMPTOMS FOR YEARS, WHEN YOU GO THAT FAR DOWN THE ROAD AND YOU'RE DOING THREE HOURS OF EXERCISING AND REHAB EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THIS EXACT PROBLEM IT'S REALLY DISHEARTENING. AND THIS IS WHY I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE SPIRAL DOWN INTO DEPRESSION. AND GET INTO SOME VERY, VERY, VERY DARK PLACES, WITHOUT THAT SUPPORT SYSTEM OF MICKEY, MY WIFE, WHOEVER IT IS WHO'S AROUND YOU, SORT OF ENCOURAGING YOU AND GIVING YOU THAT INFORMATION I DON'T KNOW WHERE I WOULD HAVE ENDED UP. I WAS VERY LUCKY TO HAVE MY MICKEY AND MY WIFE. SHE WAS LIKE, E YOU'RE GOING TO DO THE EXERCISES. HERE AM I.

>> YOU DEDICATED A WHOLE SECTION TO THE BOOK ABOUT HOW AMAZING AMY WAS THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS. WHICH IS A SWEET THING. TWO, IT'S AN INCREDIBLE THING TO HEAR ABOUT HOW SHE WAS A BIG DRIVING FORCE BEHIND YOU AS WELL. SHE WAS GETTING YOU UP AND OUT THERE. KEEPING YOU ON TRACK AND KEEPING YOU HONEST AND HELPING YOU PUSH THROUGH THIS JOURNEY. YOU HAD BEEN TOGETHER FOR YEARS. WHAT DID THIS EXPERIENCE, THOUGH, DID TO THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH AMY?

>> I THINK -- WE WERE TOGETHER NINE YEARS BEFORE WE GOT MARRIED, ROUGHLY. AND I HAD BEEN A RACE CAR DRIVER FOR A LONG TIME BEFORE I HAD MET HER AND HAD SOME LEVEL OF FAME AND CELEBRITY IN THAT PROCESS. AND I THINK -- NO MATTER WHAT, HAVE SLIVERS OF DOUBT OR SLIVERS OF LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP. BECAUSE THERE AREN'T A LOT OF THINGS YOU'RE GOING TO GO THROUGH THAT ARE REALLY GOING TO NAIL HOME THAT LOVE AND TRUST WHERE YOU KNOW THAT PERSON IS COMING FROM AND WHY THEY'RE THERE. AND SO, WHEN WE WENT THROUGH THIS PROCESS TOGETHER, ANY DOUBT OR ANY SLIVER OF CONFIDENCE THAT I MIGHT HAVE BEEN LACKING IN OUR RELATIONSHIP OR IN HER, HER INTENTIONS IN ME, WENT AWAY COMPLETELY. BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T CARE IF I RACED ANYMORE. SHE DIDN'T CARE WHETHER I WAS A RACE CAR DRIVER ANYMORE. THAT WASN'T THRILLED HER OR INTEREST HER IN THIS RELATIONSHIP. SHE DIDN'T -- SHE WANTED HER HUSBAND TO GET WELL AND BE HIS OLD SELF. SHE WANTED THAT TERRIBLY AND BADLY. AND SHE WAS AS MOTIVATED AS ANYBODY TO GET UP EVERY MORNING AND GET ME THROUGH THOSE WORKOUTS AND GET ME THROUGH THAT REHABILITATION AND EVERYTHING I DID TO TRY TO GIVE UP OR GO OFF TRACK OR GET LAZY, ANYTHING THAT I DID, ANY THOUGHT, ANY LACK OF MOTIVATION, SHE WAS THERE TO KEEP THE PRESSURE ON AND WHO DOES THAT? YOU KNOW, WHO DOES THAT FOR SOMEBODY UNLESS THEY TRULY, TRULY CARE ABOUT THEM AND TRULY LOVE THEM? TO SACRIFICE SO MUCH OF YOURSELF YOU MUST REALLY, REALLY WANT THE END RESULT BADLY. SO THAT PROVED TO ME THAT SHE WAS 100% IN MY CORNER AND IT -- I MEAN, IT MADE OUR RELATIONSHIP GOLDEN. IT WAS SO AWESOME. WHEN WE GOT -- I WAS GOING THROUGH ALL OF THE REHABILITATION AND PROBLEMS IN THE FALL AND WINTER OF 2016, AND I GOT MARRIED ON NEW YEAR'S OF THAT YEAR. I TOLD MY DOCTOR, LISTEN, I GOT TO BE CLEAR AND HEALTHY FOR MY WEDDING. I GOT TO. WE GOT TO DO THE WORK AND GIVE ME WHATEVER I NEED TO DO TO GET WELL FOR THAT. I WANT TO GO THROUGH THAT WITH A CLEAR MIND AND REMEMBER IT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. WHEN YOU HAVE CONCUSSIONS AND THE SYMPTOMS I WAS DEALING WITH IT WAS HARD TO BE IN THE MOMENT WITH ANYTHING. AND HE MADE IT HAPPEN, MAN, AND WHEN WE GOT MARRIED, I THOUGHT, WOW, THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE AND THEN WE HAD OUR CHILD AND THEN THAT WAS THE GREATEST DAY. IT REALLY TRANSFORMED OUR RELATIONSHIP.

>> WAS MICKEY AT THE WEDDING?

>> OF COURSE.

>> WE TALKED, WE'RE GOING TO GO TO AUDIENCE QUESTIONS IN A SECOND. I CAN'T MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT RYAN, RYAN McGEE, WHAT WAS THAT PROCESS WORKING ON THIS BOOK, HOW DID IT START, HOW DID YOU GUYS GET PAIRED UP TOGETHER AND ALL THAT?

>> I HAVE KNOWN RYAN FOR A LONG TIME. HE'S COVERED NASCAR FOR MULTIPLE YEARS. SO I HAD SEEN THIS GUY AND IN SPORTS, IN OUR SPORT, WE HAVE A LOT OF THE SAME WRITERS AND JOURNALISTS FOR DECADES, REALLY, COVERING THE SPORT. YOU GET TO KNOW THESE GUYS IN THE MEDIA CENTER ON A FIRST-NAME BASIS. YOU BECOME REALLY GOOD FRIENDS. WHEN WE WERE THINKING ABOUT WHO WE WERE GOING TO WRITE THIS BOOK WITH, WITH THE CONTENTS I HAD TO TRUST THAT PERSON WITH THE CONTENTS, VERY SENSITIVE, YOU KNOW I WANTED IT TO BE WHO I WAS FRIENDS WITH. HE WOULD RUN HOME AND WRITE SO SOME STUFF. GET BACK TOGETHER AND WE WOULD READ THROUGH IT. GO OVER IT. MAKE SURE IT WAS EXACTLY THE WAY IT WAS. WE SPENT TIME TOGETHER FOR THREE MONTHS. WE WERE TOGETHER CONSTANTLY, CONSTANTLY. YOU GOT TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP TO DO THAT. I TOLD HIM WHEN WE FIRST SAT DOWN FOR OUR FIRST LUNCH, HE SAID, ALL RIGHT, MAN, HOW ARE WE GOING TO WRITE THIS BOOK? AND I AIR DROPPED HIM THE NOTES THAT I HAD KEPT. AND HE -- I SAID, I GOT TO TAKE A PHONE CALL. TAKE A LOOK AT THE NOTES. I GOT UP AND LEFT. WHEN I CAME BACK HE'S LIKE, THESE NOTES, THIS IS THE IT. THIS IS THE BOOK.

>> HE GOT ON BOARD TO WRITE THE BOOK BEFORE HE HAD EVEN SEEN THE NOTES?

>> YEAH.

>> THAT WAS AMAZING. THAT'S PRETTY COOL. VERY EASY TO LOOK AT THOSE NOTES ALONE AND GO --

>> HE SAID, YOU KNOW, IN HIS OWN WORDS HE WAS TERRIFIED ON HOW HE WAS GOING TO WRITE IT UNTIL HE GOT THE NOTES. THIS IS THE BOOK RIGHT HERE. BECAUSE HE WAS WORRIED ABOUT HOW -- WE WERE REALLY GOING TO HAVE TO DO -- HE WAS REALLY GOING TO HAVE TO DO A TON OF WORK TO TIMELINE THIS WHOLE THING TOGETHER FROM 2012, PRETTY MUCH EVERY SINGLE WEEK, WHAT HAPPENED THE CRASHES THAT I WENT THROUGH, ALL THE ARTICLES THAT I WROTE OR TALKED ABOUT THE CONCUSSIONS AND THE SYMPTOMS AND SO FORTH, THERE WAS JUST SO MUCH. THIS SPELLED IT OUT FOR HIM. IT MADE IT REALLY EASY.

>> YOU GUYS DID A PHENOMENAL JOB. IT'S ALMOST LIKE CINEMATIC. WE GET TO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING IN THE MOMENTS. YOU MENTIONED AT THE TOP, IT'S NATURALLY TOUGH TO GO BACK AND RELIVE SOME OF THESE TRAUMATIC MOMENTS AND ALL THAT. HAVE YOU FOUND EVEN THOUGH IT'S BEEN TOUGH THAT REVISITING THEM, LOOKING AT THEM WITH A SLIGHTLY FRESH PERSPECTIVE, HAS IT HELPED YOU PROCESS ANYTHING ABOUT IT?

>> YEAH, YEAH. IT HAS SORT RESTED SOME OF THE UNEASINESS I HAD WITH IT BY GOING OVER THE PROCESS AGAIN AND ALSO BEING MORE TRANSPARENT WITH MY FAMILY, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THAT DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ALL THIS STUFF. I MEAN, LIKE MY SISTER, WHEN SHE READ THE BOOK SHE'S READING THOSE NOTES FOR THE FIRST TIME, SHE'S READING ABOUT ALL THESE THINGS GOING ON WITH ME FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND, YEAH -- SHE WAS VERY ANGRY. A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO READ THE BOOK THEIR FIRST REACTION IS ANGER, BECAUSE OF THE IGNORANCE -- ME TRYING TO RACE THROUGH ALL THESE PROBLEMS AND TRYING TO HANDLE IT MYSELF WAS A HUGE MISTAKE. I MADE MY RESULTING, YOU KNOW, CONCUSSION ISSUES MUCH WORSE BY DOING THAT. IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT I'M HOPING PEOPLE WILL READ AND NOT MAKE THAT SAME MISTAKE. SO, IT'S -- YEAH, IT'S BEEN GOOD TO GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS. IT'S FINALLY DONE. IT'S OUT. NO MORE WAITING AROUND. LONG, LONG WAIT TO GET THIS THING OUT IN EVERYONE'S HANDS.

>> EVERYBODY'S WRITING A BOOK TAKES A LONG TIME. BUT AFTER IT'S DONE IT TAKES A WHILE BEFORE PEOPLE CAN READ IT.

>> THERE WAS A THREE-MONTH PERIOD OF GETTING THE BOOK PUT TOGETHER, PICTURES AND THE BINDING AND THE COVER, PICKING THE COVER WAS FREAKING -- I DIDN'T KNOW PICKING THE COVER WAS GOING TO BE THAT HARD. SO MANY PEOPLE'S INPUT AND INVOLVEMENT. WE WENT BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN A LOT OF DIFFERENT OPTIONS. YEAH, THERE'S A LOT GOING ON WITH WRITING A BOOK. IT IS A FUN EXPERIENCE. I HAVE DONE A BOOK BEFORE. SO I KNEW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WE WERE GETTING INVOLVED IN. THIS ONE IS CERTAINLY VERY MEANINGFUL TO ME. I'M VERY EXCITED.

>> I BLASTED THROUGH THIS THING COVER TO COVER. IT WAS SO GOOD. IT REALLY -- THE OPENNESS THAT YOU PRESENT HERE AND YOU PUT IT ALL ON THE TABLE. WE'LL GO TO THE AUDIENCE IN JUST A SECOND. THE BOOK IS OUT THERE TODAY. IS THERE AN AUDIO BOOK?

>> I DID. I READ THE FIRST AND LAST CHAPTERS.

>> THAT'S PRETTY COOL. LISTEN TO IT. BUY AND READ IT AS WELL. LAST THING, YOU KNOW, LAST MONTH YOU JUMPED BACK ON THE TRACK FOR A LITTLE BIT. YOU CAME OUT OF RETIREMENT. WHAT MADE YOU GET BACK IN THE CAR AND HOW DID IT FEEL COMING BACK AFTER A WHILE?

>> IT FELT GREAT. WHAT MADE ME GET BACK IN THE CAR I HAD AN OUTSTANDING CONTRACTS WITH THE PARTNER, THAT RACE WAS ALREADY ON THE CALENDAR.

>> THAT WAS A FORE GONE CONCLUSION. DID THAT MAKE IT A LITTLE EASIER?

>> EXACTLY. MIGHT BE OUT THERE ONE MORE TIME. EASIER FOR ME TO SAY GOOD-BYE KNOWING THAT I WOULD BE OUT ONE MORE TIME. I'LL GOING TO RACE A RACE NEXT YEAR, TOO. I LOVE RACING. I DON'T WANT TO PUT MY BODY THROUGH WHAT IT TAKES TO RACE FULL TIME EVERY SINGLE WEEK. I STILL GET TO GO OUT THERE AND HAVE FUN.

>> THAT'S AWESOME.

>>> ALL RIGHT, LET'S DO IT UP. MICROPHONES IN THE ROOM.

>> HI, DALE. HOW ARE YOU?

>> GOOD.

>> LONGTIME FAN. NOW YOU'RE ON THE BROADCASTING SIDE, IF YOU COULD INTERVIEW ANY ATHLETE OUTSIDE OF RACING WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

>> I DON'T KNOW. PROBABLY SOME BIG NAMES WOULD POP UP, LIKE TIGER WOODS, LeBRON JAMES. I ADMIRE LeBRON AND INDIVIDUALS LIKE HIM BECAUSE OF HOW HE GROWS HIS BRAND AND IT TOOK ME A LONG TIME IN MY CAREER TO REALIZE WHAT THAT EVEN MEANT. GROWING YOUR OWN BRAND. I USED TO THINK, MAN, THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT. I JUST NEED TO BE ME AND BE HONEST AND OPEN. AND THAT WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF. LeBRON IS VERY SMART OF THE THINGS THAT HE GETS INVOLVED IN AND VERY SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT HIS BRAND. AND I WOULD LOVE TO KIND OF UNDERSTAND HOW HE GOES ABOUT DOING THAT PROCESS. I THINK THAT WOULD HELP EDUCATE A LOT OF YOUNG ATHLETES, YOUNG RACE CAR DRIVERS THAT WE GOT SOME KIDS COMING INTO THE SPORT TODAY THAT ARE INCREDIBLE PERSONALITIES. THAT I THINK OUR FANS WOULD LOVE AND OUR CHALLENGE IS TO GET THOSE PERSONALITIES OUT THERE FOR FANS TO GET TO KNOW THEM. RYAN BLANEY, CHASE ELLIOTT. THOSE ARE GUYS WHO ARE IN THE CUP SERIES TODAY THAT I BELIEVE FANS WILL REALLY ENJOY AND IT'S A CHALLENGE TO GET THEM IN FRONT OF THE FANS, AWAY FROM THE RACETRACK, SO THE FANS CAN GET TO KNOW THOSE GUYS AND I THINK LeBRON DOES SUCH A GREAT JOB AT THAT. AND THEY COULD LEARN FROM THAT. IT WAS HARD FOR ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND HOW ALL THAT WAS IMPORTANT AND WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT.

>> WE'RE GOING TO GET TO THE OTHERS IN THE SECOND. AFTER EVERYTHING YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH AND THE EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE HAD, HOW HAS THAT INFLUENCED HOW YOU SEE OTHER SPORTS THAT YOU WATCH THAT MAY HAVE INHERENT RISKS AS WELL.

>> I DID STRUGGLE WITH THAT. I WAS A HUGE BOXING FAN FOR MOST OF MY LIFE AND STILL AM TODAY AND OBVIOUSLY, IT'S A DIFFICULT SPORT WHERE YOU GET PUNCHED IN THE HEAD. AND SO --

>> THOSE ARE THE RULES --

>> YES. AND I DON'T WANT TO DISCOURAGE ANYONE FROM DOING ANYTHING THAT THEY WANT TO DO. THE OTHER THING I WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND, WHEN THEY DO HAVE AN ISSUE IS TO GO TO THE DOCTOR AND GET TAKEN CARE OF. DON'T PUT IT OFF. YOU'RE STILL INJURED EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE NOT CARRYING SYMPTOMS, YOU STILL HAVE A PROBLEM AND A VERY DELICATE BRAIN AT THAT MOMENT. SO, I MADE SOME POOR CHOICES AND I JUST DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO MAKE THOSE SAME POOR CHOICES.

>> THANK YOU FOR YOUR QUESTION. A FEW MORE. NEXT ONE, BACK ON THE RED COUCH.

>> WHAT'S GOING ON, DALE? CONGRATULATIONS ON ON THE BOOK.

>> THANK YOU.

>> YOU HAD A LOT OF OBSTACLES IN YOUR CAREER, ONE RACE OUR EXPERIENCE THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO GET OUT OF AND YOU END UP PREVAILING?

>> A WRECK IN 2012 IN KANSAS. A TEST RUNNING BY MYSELF ON A TUESDAY AND IT'S NOT A RACE OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. COUPLE OF OTHER CARS OUT THERE PRACTICING. I'M RUNNING AND RUNNING. THE RIGHT FRONT TIRE BLEW OUT. GOING ABOUT 210 MILES AN HOUR. I HAD NO MORE CONTROL OVER THE CAR. IT'S GOING TO STRAIGHT UP IN THE WALL. THERE’S A COUPLE OF SECONDS YOU'RE GETTING READY TO HIT THAT WALL YOU GET TO THINK ABOUT IT. I WAS REALLY FEARFUL THAT I WASN'T GOING TO SURVIVE THE CRASH UNSCATHED. I DIDN'T THINK IT WAS GOING TO KILL ME. BUT I KNEW THAT THIS WAS GOING TO BE PRETTY VIOLENT. AND THAT I WAS LIKELY TO BE INJURED AND THAT WAS REALLY FRIGHTENING. I HIT THE WALL. NEVER KNOCKED ME OUT. BOUNCED ALONG THE WALL FOR ABOUT 300 YARDS, 400 YARDS. LOOKED AROUND. EVERYTHING'S STILL WORKING. NO BROKEN BONES OR ARMS OR ANYTHING. I CLIMBED OUT OF THE CAR. I FELT FOR THE MOST PART, I DIDN'T -- I DIDN'T FEEL ANY ISSUES WITH MY HEAD. I DIDN'T FEEL A CONCUSSION. AND THEN, FIVE MINUTES LATER, IT CAME. I WAS DOWN IN THE GARAGE I HAD ALREADY MADE IT BACK TO THE GARAGE WHERE THE TEAM WAS AND THE HAULER WAS AND I STARTED FEELING LIKE SOMEBODY HIT ME UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH A BASEBALL BAT. I WAS SHELL SHOCKED IN A DAZE, I GLASSED OVER, IN THE BAD, BAD PLACE, AND GETTING VERY NAUSEOUS. MORE, MORE NAUSEOUS. I WANT TO LAY DOWN FLAT SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE, TO QUIT THE NAUSEOUSNESS. BECAUSE IT WAS COMING ON SUPER STRONG. THAT WAS PROBABLY THE SCAREDEST I HAVE EVER BEEN IN RACING. THAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THIS WHOLE PROCESS FOR ME, GOING THROUGH THE CONCUSSIONS. THIS WAS WAY BACK IN 2012. THAT’S KIND OF WHERE THE BOOK BEGINS WITH THE STORY.

>> THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION AND FOR THAT STORY TIME FOR ONE QUESTION.

>> DALE, HOW ARE YOU DOING?

>> GOOD.

>> YOU BROUGHT UP THIS YEAR'S XFINITY RACE EARLIER. ANY THOUGHTS ON WHERE YOU MIGHT RACE NEXT YEAR? YOU MENTIONED RYAN AND CHASE, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHO WOULD TAKE OVER MOST POPULAR DRIVER?

>> I THINK CHASE IS DEFINITELY GOING TO WIN THE MOST POPULAR DRIVER. HE HAS THE LINEAGE AND THE HERITAGE WITH HIS LAST NAME AND HIS FATHER WAS AN EXCELLENT CHAMPION AND VERY POPULAR IN HIS OWN RIGHT. WON THE POPULAR AWARD MANY, MANY TIMES. HE HAS THE RECORD OVER ME BY ONE YEAR, 16. CHASE IS A GREAT PERSON. YOU KNOW, I THINK FOR ME, PERSONALLY, I'M A FAN OF THE SPORT FIRST AND FOREMOST. AND WHEN I LOOK AT DRIVERS I WANT THEM TO BE GREAT ON THE TRACK BUT I ALSO WANT TO LIKE THE PERK THEY ARE. I THINK CHASE IS A TREMENDOUS PERSON. SO, YOU KNOW, I LOOK FORWARD TO CONGRATULATING HIM IF HE SHOULD WIN IT. I HOPE TO RUN DARLINGTON NEXT YEAR. I THINK THE THROW -- DARLINGTON'S OUR THROWBACK WEEKEND. IT'S A LOT OF FUN. OLD PAINT SCHEMES. THE OLD SPORT SORT OF TRANSFORMS ITSELF BACK IN TIME. OUR RETRO WEEKEND. OUR THROWBACK WEEKEND. EVERYBODY REALLY GETS INVOLVED. LOT OF FUN SEEING THE IDEAS THAT PEOPLE COME UP WITH AND I'D LOVE TO DO THAT ONE MORE TIME. SO THAT'S MY -- THAT'S WHERE I'M FOCUSING, TRYING TO GET MY PARTNER, HELLMAN’S MAYONNAISE AND GET THEM INVOLVED IN WANTING TO BE A PART OF THE THROWBACK WEEKEND. IS WHAT I'M DOING THAT RIGHT NOW. IF HELLMANN'S CHECKS THE BOX AND THEY'LL BE ON DARLINGTON WEEKEND, YES.

>> THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTIONS. WE'LL WRAP THINGS UP. WE'RE JUST OUT OF TIME. I'LL REMIND EVERYBODY ONE LAST TIME, THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE TODAY. WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD. DALE, ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO TELL EVERYBODY BEFORE WE GET OUT OF HERE. WHERE TO FIND MICKEY?

>> MICKEY IS THE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH MEDICAL CENTER. IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEBODY ABOUT SOME ISSUES YOU'RE HAVING AND YOU BELIEVE IT'S TIED TO A CONCUSSION, MICKEY CAN HELP AND GIVE YOU THE TREATMENT YOU NEED. IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO'S FRUSTRATED AND SUFFERING AND CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET HELP OR WHERE TO GET HELP OR THEY'RE NOT GETTING THE HELP THEY NEED FROM THEIR CURRENT DOCTOR, CONNECT THEM TO MICKEY. HE SEES ALL WALKS OF LIFE. NOT JUST ATHLETES, NOT JUST PITTSBURGH STEELERS, PENGUINS AND RACE CAR DRIVERS, HE SEES PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, ALL OVER THE WORLD WHO HAVE BEEN INJURED ON THE JOB, AT HOME. AND HE FIXES THEM, MAN, AND HE'S JUST AN INCREDIBLE GUY AND HOPE THAT, YOU KNOW, I HOPE HE STARTS SEEING PATIENTS TOMORROW THAT HEARD ABOUT THIS BOOK OR EVEN WATCHED THIS SHOW.

>> JUST A MATTER OF TIME. EVERYBODY, PLEASE JOIN ME ONE MORE TIME, CRAZY AMOUNT OF NOISE AND AN APPROPRIATE THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT DALE EARNHARDT JR. COME ON, GUYS.

>> THANK YOU. APPRECIATE IT.

>> THANK YOU, SIR. [ APPLAUSE ]

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