Home » NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series

Earnhardt To Sit Out Loudon Race

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, July 14 2016
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is being sidelined by concussion-like symptoms. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is being sidelined by concussion-like symptoms. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

Hendrick Motorsports announced on Thursday that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not compete in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway because he has experienced “concussion-like symptoms”.

Earnhardt will be replaced by Alex Bowman in Loudon.

Earnhardt, who missed two races in 2012 because of a concussion he suffered after crashing during a tire test at Kansas Speedway, has had two wrecks in a three-race stretch from June 19 to July 2.

Earnhardt, the 41-year-old driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, was evaluated this week in Charlotte and today was not cleared by physicians to race.

“I wasn’t feeling great the week going into Kentucky (Speedway) and thought it was possibly severe allergies,” Earnhardt said in a statement released by the Hendrick organization. “I saw a family doctor and was given medication for allergies and a sinus infection. When that didn’t help, I decided to dig a little deeper. Because of my symptoms and my history with concussions, and after my recent wrecks at Michigan and Daytona, I reached out and met with a neurological specialist. After further evaluation, they felt it was best for me to sit out.

“I’m disappointed about missing New Hampshire this weekend. I’m looking forward to treatment with the goal of getting back in the race car when the doctors say I’m ready.”

A timetable for Earnhardt’s return has not been established. Hendrick Motorsports will provide an update next week regarding plans for the July 24 Brickyard 400 event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I’m proud of Dale for standing up,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “The number-one priority is his health, so we’re going to give him all the time he needs. We completely support the decision by the doctors and will be ready to go win races when he’s 100 percent. In the meantime, we have full confidence in Greg (Ives) and the team, and we know they’ll do a great job.”

After the Kansas crash in 2012, Earnhardt was checked out in the infield care center and cleared to resume racing. That concussion was not diagnosed until October after he crashed at Talladega.

It was then when he was forced to sit out two races.

Earnhardt said he didn’t report symptoms he was having after the Kansas crash because he did not want to be miss the Chase.

“I knew something was just not quite right,” Earnhardt told reporters at the time. “I decided to push through and work through it. I had concussions before and knew exactly kind of what I was dealing with. I felt pretty good after a week or two, definitely 80 to 90 percent after the Chase started. By the time I got to Talladega I felt 100 percent, really good.”

Bowman had a full-time Cup ride in 2014 and 2015, with a best finish of 13th at Daytona in July of 2014. He has competed in four Xfinity Series starts this year with Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports race team.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, July 14 2016
No Comment

Comments are closed.