Inspired by Dale Jr., Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen will donate brain to science
Dale Earnhardt Jr. obviously is making an impact when it comes to raising awareness about head injuries.
In fact, NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen has been inspired by the Hendrick Motorsports driver to donate his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, the same organization where Earnhardt pledged to donate his brain earlier this year.
Lorenzen is currently in an assisted living facility in the Chicago, Illinois area as he continues to battle dementia. Earnhardt is sitting out this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway because of concussion-like symptoms.
According to a report by Associated Press writer Dan Gelston, Amanda Lorenzen Gardstrom, Lorenzen’s daughter, made it official on Friday with a pledge to the organization’s co-founder Chris Nowinski.
"As a family, we decided we wanted to support Dale Jr. and all work together toward a healthy future for these drivers," Gardstrom told Gelston.
After hard wrecks throughout his career, and especially during the 1960s, Gardstrom believes Lorzenen has Chronic Tramatic Encephalopathy (CTE) as a result.
"He never stopped to heal," she said of the 1965 Daytona 500 champion.
She also feels it’s important that the younger generation be educated regarding the severity of concussions.
"They’re young, they’re hungry, but when they get in a wreck and get a concussion, they know if they don’t get back in the car, someone else is going to take it," Gardstrom added. "We want to change the culture of the sport."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.