Earn­hardt re­turns to Dover to sup­port Hen­drick team­mates

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

Dale Earn­hardt Jr. watched his ol’ No. 88 Chevy roll onto pit road and felt a tinge of melan­choly know­ing Jeff Gor­don would slide into the seat.

Earn­hardt was back at a NASCAR track, yet far re­moved from a NASCAR come­back.

“It’s hard not to climb in the car be­fore Jeff does,” he said.

With­out a ride, Earn­hardt in­stead took a tem­po­rary spot as NASCAR’s most pop­u­lar crew mem­ber. He wore a hoodie and a hat in­stead of a fire­suit as he made one of his few pub­lic ap­pear­ances at a track since his sea­son ended in July be­cause of a con­cus­sion. Earn­hardt posed for self­ies with fans and seemed in good spir­its watch­ing prac­tice from the pit box on Satur­day at Dover In­ter­na­tional Speed­way.

Earn­hardt en­joyed be­ing one of the guys again at Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports. He as­sisted with his No. 88 team and took an in­ter­est in help­ing crew chief Greg Ives dur­ing Gor­don’s prac­tice run on a ses­sion in­ter­rupted by rain.

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