Racing to the Finish: My Story

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Thomas Nelson, $26.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-7852-2160-9
Retired professional stock car driver Earnhardt candidly opens up about the end of his racing career and warns other athletes about the dangers of traumatic brain injuries. Earnhardt uses his charisma and a conversational tone—“heck man” and “ain’t” are sprinkled throughout­­—to delve into heavy discussions of sports-related harm. Introduced by Earnhardt’s concussion specialist, the book illustrates the huge pressure athletes are placed under to sacrifice their health for career success, a burden acutely described through the lens of Earnhardt’s experience hiding his condition from those closest to him. He recounts intense crashes that will have racing fans on the edges of their seats, and he also shares personal notes about his symptoms and struggles that he’d written on his iPhone: “Hit oil and slammed wall. Instant headache. Felt lazy and 1 beer drunk rest of day. Could fumble some speech and mind was forgetful. Don’t consider this one as serious as some.” Data-driven medical information and comparisons of concussion injuries in other professional sports leagues are also provided to stress the seriousness of the problem. Although religion is never at the forefront of the book, Earnhardt relies on his faith often during his struggles with concussions, a fact that comes through in his personal entries. For fans of racing or professional athletics in general, Earnhardt’s worrying tale will be a wake-up call for reform and better health policies. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 208 pages - 978-0-7852-2196-8
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