Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s hopes for a championship this year has all but disappeared after his second concussion in six weeks will force him to sit out the next two races.
He suffered the first concussion on August 29 during a tire test in Kansas, while his second one happened during the wild crash at Talladega. Concussions have been plentiful in sports lately, most notably football and hockey, as all organizations have become strict with how they handle those who suffer the injury. Many athletes have chosen to hide their concussion symptoms for fear of being pulled from their sport.
This was the case with Earnhardt Jr., who didn’t report symptoms from his first injury fearing that he’d be pulled from races. Now he’s being forced to sit the next two races out. Driver Regan Smith will replace him in the number 88 Chevrolet.
Persistent headaches after the Talladega crash had Earnhardt Jr. see Dr. Jerry Petty who is not only his personal physician, but also the physician for NASCAR. This will also end Earnhardt Jr.’s streak of 461 consecutive starts, the fifth longest active streak in the Sprint Cup Series.