Dale Jr. Refocused for 2017

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Charlotte (WSLS-10 Sports)- A new outlook and new season--but the same passion. NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr,  is gearing up to return to the track after being out of competition since July.

"I think that my drive is the same and my want to is about the same," says Dale Jr.

Jr. sat out after suffering concussion like symptoms. While he was in the passenger seat so to speak...he says reflected on things he took for granted and he's just appreciative and eager to get behind the wheel.

"The opportunity I have to keep competing so I'm real thankful to be healthy and come back," says Dale.

While he's returning to the track...Daniel Suarez will make his cup series debut at Daytona, as he takes the wheel following Carl Edwards' departure. The 2016 XFINITY Series champ got the call from Joe Gibbs while at dinner with his girlfriend and her  parents...in Mexico.

"Then I said ok what's going on here or I was thinking ok either I'm going to get fired or something good is happening. But I started thinking we just won the championship we can't get fired., " quipped Suarez.

Of course that call was one that he gladly accepted. As far as pressure he says it's there but it's not any different from before.