Dale Earnhardt Jr. To Return At Martinsville
After missing 2 consecutive races due to an concussion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be back on the track this Sunday at Martinsville.
The concussion occured in the Oct. 7th race at Talladega after a big crash in the last lap of the race. It was the second concussion that Dale Jr. had recieved, the other occurring after a crash during a test run in August.
Car Owner Rick Hendrick had prematurely said on Sunday that Dale would be back at Martinsville on Sunday, but then had to retract his statement stating that more tests had to be done. Neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty made it official on Tuesday after making this this statement in a press release:
“Dale Jr. has done everything asked of him. ’He hasn’t had a headache since Oct. 12 and we have not been able to provoke any symptoms since that time. I have informed NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports that he is medically cleared for all NASCAR-related activity.”
In Earnhardt’s absence behind the wheel, Regan Smith would drive the #88 Chevrolet, finishing 38th in Charlotte thanks to a blown engine, but would rebound nicely the following week in Kansas finishing seventh after qualifying 39th.
After the October 7th crash and the two lost weeks, Earnhardt Jr. is now 122 points behind points leader Brad Keselowski in the Standings with four races remaining. His hopes for winning the Sprint Cup Championship will have to wait until next year.