Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss out on the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway for a concussion he was diagnosed with after last Sunday’s 25-car pileup at Talladega Speedway.
Earnhardt admitted during a news conference Thursday that he suffered a concussion during a tire test at Kansas on August 29, but it was not diagnosed until Wednesday, reports USA Today.
The driver of the number 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet first began suffering from headaches after the 25-car pileup on Sunday. He appeared a little dazed when he got out of his race car, but stated on Sunday that he was fine. Earnhardt stated:
“The wreck at Kansas was really severe and it surprised me how tough it was to get past that. I remember everything about that accident and everything after that accident, but you know your body and how your mind works, and I knew something was just not quite right. I decided to push through and work through it.”
ESPN notes that Regan Smith will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the number 88 Chevrolet for the next two races, while the NASCAR favorite heals. The son of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt stated that he had tests and an MRI on Tuesday, which showed that there was no damage to his brain from either crash.
Because of his persistent headaches, however, NASCAR doctor (who is also Jr.’s personal doctor) Dr. Jerry Petty ruled him out for the next two races. Earnhardt added:
“I trust his opinion. That’s why I went to see him. He’s been a good friend of mine for a long time, helped me through a lot of injuries before. I believe when he tells me I don’t need to be in the car.”
Unfortunately with the fact that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not be participating in the next two races, he will lose his chance to win this year’s Sprint Cup Championship.