Earnhardt Jr. to miss race due to concussion

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is out
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is out

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is "out of Sunday's race in New Hampshire with concussion symptoms," and there is no "timetable for Earnhardt's return" to the Sprint Cup Series, according to Rick Bonnell of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.

Earnhardt's No. 88 Chevy will be driven by Alex Bowman this weekend. Earnhardt was first "evaluated by doctors this week in Charlotte," and he was "not cleared to drive Thursday in a follow-up appointment with a neurologist." Earnhardt has a "history with concussions" — he missed two races in '12 — and has been in recent crashes at Michigan and Daytona. He confirmed in April that he will "donate his brain for medical research into concussion effects" CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.

NBCSN's Jeff Burton said Earnhardt stepping out of the car is "big for the sport," as that is "not how it worked in the past."

The understanding of concussions and their long-term ramifications has "opened a lot of people's eyes, and a guy like Dale Jr. stepping up and doing this is a big deal. It shows kids that are playing soccer, it shows kids that are playing football, whatever they are playing, that it is okay to step up and say, 'Hey, I am hurt.'"

NBCSN's Ray Evernham said, "Years ago, with the way the points system was, you were almost forced to get back in. So I kind of applaud what NASCAR has done with this Chase system and giving these passes if you're hurt so you don't have to run all the races" "NASCAR America," NBCSN

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