When he got back into his car on Friday, it felt and appeared like he hadn’t missed a beat.
Earnhardt returned to action Friday at Martinsville Speedway and was second in the first Sprint Cup practice session at the half-mile track.
Martinsville is a good track for Earnhardt, who has seven top-10 finishes in his last nine starts there, including second and third in his last three races on the .526-mile oval.
“I feel like I’ve been out of a car for a year,” Earnhardt said prior to practice. “It doesn’t feel like a couple of weeks. (But) I feel like we can go right to (it). … I like this racetrack and I feel like we can run good here.
“I want to do a good job over the next four weeks (to finish the season). I want to run hard and I want us to go into every weekend trying to do what we’ve done all year long.”
“I’m just excited to be back to work, get back in the car and get back to normal—get back to the life that I’m used to,” Earnhardt said. “I haven’t been able to do my job, so I’m glad to be doing this (this weekend).”