Dale Earnhardt Jr. would consider retirement with title

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
FILE - In this June 30, 2016, file photo, Dale Earnhardt Jr. gestures as he speaks during a news conference before the start of a NASCAR Sprint Cup auto racing practice at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, Fla. NASCAR has a new sponsor, a new format and a familiar face this year in its bid to rebound from declining ratings and attendance. The next 11 months will show if Dale Earnhardt Jr., Monster Energy and different rules can provide the needed jolt.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -Dale Earnhardt Jr. would consider retirement if he won his first NASCAR Cup title this season.

Earnhardt, who missed half of last year because of another concussion, says he might walk away if he won a championship in his comeback season. Earnhardt reiterated at Daytona 500 media day Wednesday what he said a day earlier on the “Dan Patrick Show” on NBC Sports. Junior said he was speaking tongue and cheek initially, but made it clear he would consider calling it quits if he won his first Cup title.

“Hell, yeah, man,” he said. “I would definitely not want to come back and try to race anymore if I won the championship. I would be outta here. I’ve always wanted to win a championship so badly, and coming back from this injury, we worked so hard, so to come back this year and win a championship, it would be hard not to hang it up.”

Earnhardt added that this is the last year of his contract with Hendrick Motorsports. He is putting off negotiations while he completes his return.

“I would like to race more, but if I win the championship, I’d have to consider going out on top,” he said. “I mean, I don’t know. It just really depends on a lot of different things. I said that a little tongue and cheek yesterday, but I would definitely consider it. That’s the last box I don’t have checked really. There’s a few races I’d like to win, but the championship would definitely be the icing on the cake for my career.”

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