Concussion-Like Symptoms Sideline Earnhardt Jr. from Loudonby Kyle Pokrefky July 14, 2016
Concussion-like symptoms that plagued Dale Earnhardt Jr. over the past race weekend at Kentucky have sidelined the Hendrick Motorsports for the upcoming Sprint Cup race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet reached a decision to sit out of Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 after consulting with a neurologist over the past week.
Earnhardt Jr. had been experiencing medical issues that he believed were allergy related through the Kentucky weekend, yet after taking prescribed medication for his symptoms, his condition didn’t make much of an improvement.
Given his history of concussions in the past and after going through two hard impacts at Michigan International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, Earnhardt Jr’s neurologist suggested it would be best if the 26-timer race winner sit out this weekend.
“I wasn’t feeling great the week going into Kentucky (Speedway) and thought it was possibly severe allergies,” Earnhardt Jr. said in a Hendrick Motorsports release. “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.”
Driving in Earnhardt Jr’s place this weekend will be Alex Bowman, who last competed in the Sprint Cup Series in 2015 with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the entirety of the season.
Bowman currently competes on a partial schedule for Earnhardt Jr’s JR Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The Tucson, Ariz. native currently has a best finish of third in the XFINITY Series this year for Earnhardt Jr. at Dover.
A timetable for Earnhardt Jr’s return to the No. 88 car will be announced at a later date.
Hendrick Motorsports’s plans for the car for next weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be announced following Sunday’s 301-lap race.
Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images