Dale Earnhardt Jr. Out for the Rest of the 2016 Season

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. won’t return to the driver’s seat for the remainder of 2016.

Hendrick Motorsports announced today that the driver of the No. 88 HMS Chevrolet has not been medically cleared to compete for the rest of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Earnhardt has sat out the last six races after being diagnosed with symptoms of a concussion that his doctors say were triggered by his wreck at Michigan in June. He’s been undergoing regular evaluation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program under the direction of Dr. Micky Collins and with Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty.

“I wish I could return to the No. 88 team this season,” Earnhardt said. “To say I’m disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how I feel, but I know this is the right thing for my long-term health and career. I’m 100 percent focused on my recovery, and I will continue to follow everything the doctors tell me. They’re seeing good progress in my test results, and I’m feeling that progress physically. I plan to be healthy and ready to compete at Daytona in February. I’m working toward that.”

Earnhardt also mentioned that he’s received overwhelming support from both inside and outside the Hendrick organization.

“The support from both inside and outside the race team has been overwhelming. Everyone has been so encouraging and positive, from my teammates and sponsors to my family, friends and fans. It’s motivating and humbling at the same time.”

Team owner Rick Hendrick said he knows “how hard Dale has worked and how frustrating this is for him. He wants to be back, and we want him back, but we want it to be for the long haul. We’ve had incredible support from everyone involved with the team, including all of our sponsors. They’ve put Dale’s health first every step of the way.”

Alex Bowman and Jeff Gordon will continue to drive the No. 88 Chevrolet for the remainder of the season as they’ve been doing for the last six races.

Hendrick Motorsports also released their driver schedule for the 88 car detailing which race will feature which driver. Gordon will drive the car in four of the final 12 races (Darlington, Richmond, Dover and Martinsville). Bowman will pilot the car in the other eight (Chicagoland, Loudon, Charlotte, Kansas, Talladega, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead).

“Jeff and Alex will give us a great opportunity over the rest of the season,” Hendrick added. “Jeff is one of the best of all time and knows our system. He brings things to the table that no one else can. Alex is a young driver with a lot of talent, and he will give us a fresh perspective. We know they’re not only capable of running up front and giving us a chance to win, but they’ll help us get better.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos

RacingJunk.com and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

Winspirit Australia

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles