Dale Earnhardt Jr. Out of New Hampshire Race

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not compete in this weekend’s Sprint Cup race in New Hampshire due to symptoms of a concussion.

The driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was evaluated this week in Charlotte and physicians declared him unclear to take part in the New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt released a statement saying he “wasn’t feeling great the week going into Kentucky (Speedway) and thought it was possibly severe allergies. 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.”

This is the second time that concussion symptoms have sidelined Earnhardt. He sat out two races late in the 2012 season following being caught in the last lap “Big One” in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. After experiencing severe headaches, he went to see a physician and was diagnosed with a concussion. This was compounded by another concussion he sustained in a wreck at Kansas Speedway during a test a few weeks prior.

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“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,” he added. “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.”

Team owner, Rick Hendrick, voiced his support of the decision, saying, “I’m proud of Dale for standing up. The number-one priority is his health, so we’re going to give him all the time he needs. We completely support the decision by the doctors and will be ready to go win races when he’s 100 percent. In the meantime, we have full confidence in Greg (Ives) and the team, and we know they’ll do a great job.”

Alex Bowman will drive in his place this weekend. No timetable for his return was announced and the organization will give an update next week prior to the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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