Entertainment Sports Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'Proud' to 'Help' People Seek Medical Attention After Being Open About Concussions NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. chats with PEOPLE about his health today amid the recent launch of his High Rock Vodka brand alongside wife Amy By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE since 2016. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 24, 2022 03:22 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Dale Earnhardt Jr. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Dale Earnhardt Jr. is feeling like his old self. The NASCAR legend chats with PEOPLE alongside wife Amy amid the recent launch of his High Rock Vodka brand, revealing that he has come a long way from the scary health crisis that led to his retirement from racing in 2017 after suffering a second concussion in four years in 2016. Earnhardt Jr., 47, tells PEOPLE he is feeling "no lasting effects" from the previously estimated 20 to 25 concussions he suffered during his decades-long racing career, saying, "I feel pretty good about where I'm at personally and health-wise." "I had a great experience with the doctors in Pittsburgh and [Professor] Micky Collins, who I worked with to get right and get healthy and we wrote a book about all that," he adds of his 2018 memoir Racing to the Finish: My Story. "And trying to lead other people to reach out to Micky and get the right help that they need to be able to improve their quality of life," Earnhardt Jr. says. RELATED VIDEO: 20 Concussions, Barely Walking Straight: Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Not Believing He'd "Get Healthy" Earnhardt Jr. says he's "really proud of the effect that book has had on people." "And Micky [the clinical and executive director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program] tells me every day that somebody walks into his office because of it. So that's pretty cool," he adds. "Something I guess I never expected to happen in my life is to be able to help a lot of people like that, so that's been a great experience." The father of two was recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame — just like his dad, the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. — and tells PEOPLE he is "so thankful" for the honor that "checks a big box" for him. "It was really surreal to have Amy on the stage introducing me and calling me up to the podium. That was a very incredible moment for me personally, that she was involved that much in the ceremony," he adds. "And so it was great to look out into the crowd and see a lot of familiar faces and get to highlight a few people that were very important to my journey." "I was so happy I had the opportunity to really say something to them personally in front of a lot of people," Earnhardt Jr. says. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and wife Amy for High Rock Vodka. Sugarlands Distilling Co. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Says He Had 12 Concussions in a "Very Short Period of Time" Before Retiring He's also excited to launch High Rock Vodka. Distilled by Sugarlands Distilling Co., the spirit gives Earnhardt Jr. a chance to embark on a project together with Amy, 39. "Now that me and Amy are growing our family, you certainly are thinking about your kids and that generation and beyond, and what you can pass on to them," he explains. "So I've been looking at opportunities to become owners of the brands we work with and the companies we work with, take ownership in some of the projects." Earnhardt Jr. tells PEOPLE he and his wife of five years — with whom he shares daughters Nicole, 16 months, and Isla, 3 — "have been looking for opportunities to do some things together, in a professional sense." "This is a great chance for her to be involved in this as well," he says. "So we've been very patient in the relationship with Sugarlands, waiting on what would make sense. And here we are."