Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Martinsville, Va., after being medically cleared for competition.
Since being diagnosed with a concussion following the Oct. 7 race at Talladega, Ala., Earnhardt has participated in a rehabilitation program directed by Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty. Throughout the process, Petty consulted with Dr. Micky Collins, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program.
He hasn’t had a headache since Oct. 12, and we have not been able to provoke any symptoms since that time.
Earnhardt was evaluated by Collins on Oct. 16 in Pittsburgh. On Monday, Earnhardt ran 123 laps in a Sprint Cup car during a test session monitored by Petty at the half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. Petty cleared the driver Tuesday morning following a final neuropsychological evaluation in Charlotte.
Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolets for Hendrick Motorsports, missed the Oct. 13 Charlotte Motor Speedway and Oct. 21 Kansas Speedway events.
NASCAR issued the following statement: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been medically cleared to return to NASCAR competition and will be back in the seat of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Per NASCAR policy, NASCAR’s medical liaison office received official notification of his clearance to resume racing late this morning. Earnhardt announced Oct. 11 that he would miss two races (Charlotte and Kansas) while he was recovering from a concussion.
Source: Hendrick Motorsports/NASCAR