Many people have misconceptions about celebrities like Dale Earnhardt Jr. A NASCAR champion and one of the sport’s most popular drivers by a long shot, Dale Jr. often seems somewhat invincible.

But he, too, battles with demons much like the rest of us.

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In a recent interview, Dale Jr. addressed some of these demons, one of which is the still very fresh memory of the accident and subsequent concussion that ended his 2016 season far too early for his liking.

“You can’t completely block things like that out of your mind,” Dale Jr. told For The Win. “If you’re a football player and you blow out your knee or tear your ACL or something, you know what that felt like, you know what the rehab was like, how hard that is to get back. So you can claim it’s out of your mind or you don’t think about it, but it [isn’t]. It’s in the back of your mind all the time. Having that experience is a memory that you can’t escape.”

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As the 42-year-old plans to retire at the end of the 2017 season, he still has some major race tracks coming up in the NASCAR schedule as he vies for just one more win.

“We went to Watkins Glen this past weekend, and I thought, ‘Man, the last time I was here last year I was wobbling through the garage during my rehabilitation,’ ” he said. “So you think about it, but I don’t think it affects you performance-wise too much. If I felt like I was in danger, I wouldn’t compete.”

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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