posted on Jul, 22 2004 @ 10:45 AM
Back home in North Carolina, Earnhardt is resting while his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team prepares to race this weekend at New Hampshire International
Second in the points standings, Earnhardt cannot afford to sit out of Sunday's race. Since NASCAR does not have a substitute driver rule, Earnhardt
must start the race to earn any points and stay in contention for his first championship.
DEI plans to have Martin Truex Jr. on standby in case Earnhardt can't finish. Truex has never competed in a Nextel Cup event, but he has tested at New
Hampshire to prepare for his series debut there in September.
Still, using Truex as an injury replacement is not the ideal scenario for Earnhardt or DEI.
In hindsight, Earnhardt probably should have spent his last off weekend of the season at the beach or in the mountains. Heck, even sitting on his
couch in his living room would have been a better idea than competing in a race that meant nothing to DEI or the sponsors who pay millions for
Earnhardt to drive his red Chevrolet.
But that's not how racers live their lives.
But if Earnhardt is anything like his father -- and so far, his toughness, determination and desire indicates he is -- it will be hard for anyone to
keep him out of a race car.