Dale Earnhardt Jr. won’t drive at New Hampshire on Sunday on the advice of a neurologist because of concussion concerns.
A statement from Hendrick Motorsports said Junior didn’t feel well entering the last Sprint Cup race at Kentucky. The race before Kentucky, at Daytona, Earnhardt Jr. was involved in a crash. He also crashed out at Michigan two races before Daytona.
The release said Junior was experiencing “concussion-like symptoms.”
I wasn’t feeling great the week going into Kentucky (Speedway) and thought it was possibly severe allergies,” Earnhardt said in the statement. “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.”
Earnhardt Jr. most recently missed two races in 2012 after crashes at Talladega and in a test at Kansas. He was replaced by Regan Smith in those races and will be replaced by Alex Bowman on Sunday at New Hampshire. Bowman has driven for Earnhardt Jr.’s Xfinity Series team in 2016.
Junior is currently 13th in the points standings and has five top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes. Without a win, he’s currently in the last tier of drivers who would make the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup.