SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s tweet Friday morning was a welcome sight for those thinking about the driver as he recovers from concussion-like symptoms.
Included in that crowd are Jeff Gordon – who will fill in for Earnhardt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway -- and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick.
“I certainly woke up feeling good when I saw Dale Jr.’s tweet that he’s seeing progress,” Gordon said. “I texted him right away when I saw that, so that’s great news and a great way to start the day.”
Hendrick saw the tweet as well, and said between the update and Earnhardt’s visit to campus on Wednesday, everyone’s spirits have been brightened.
“The news has been really good, and the tweet this morning was really good,” the owner said. “I really enjoyed spending time with him Wednesday. He misses this. He misses his team. He went to see his team. He saw the guys and it really lifted them. I think between Jeff agreeing to drive the car and Junior walking in the shop, the team is really excited.”
Hendrick said that Earnhardt looked good during his visit and was “encouraged” as he continues to follow his doctors’ orders.
“He’s in great spirits,” he said. “He wants to get back in the car, he wants to race but he also knows that the regimen they have him on will get him right for long time. He’s following doctors’ orders -- I can tell he’s getting antsy, but he’s going to do what they say, so he’s doing well.”
Gordon said he noticed that Earnhardt might be beginning to feel “antsy” as well, and he took that as a positive.
“The one thing I was encouraged by when I saw him on Wednesday is his passion for racing and how much he loves being in the car,” the driver noted. “We just want him to be there when he’s ready and when the doctors say he’s ready.”
In the meantime, Gordon will look to make Earnhardt proud as he serves as the substitute driver in the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for the next two weeks.
“This is his team and what we want most is to have him healthy and strong for the long term,” Gordon said. “Today was a great sign of things to come for him.”