Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Junior Returns This Weekend!

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is back. 

The Hendrick Motorsports driver will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Martinsville, Va., after being medically cleared for competition.

Since being diagnosed with a concussion following the Oct. 7 race at Talladega, Ala., Earnhardt has participated in a rehabilitation program directed by Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty. Throughout the process, Petty consulted with Dr. Micky Collins, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

“Dale Jr. has done everything asked of him,” Petty said. “He hasn’t had a headache since Oct. 12, and we have not been able to provoke any symptoms since that time. I have informed NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports that he is medically cleared for all NASCAR-related activity.”

Earnhardt was evaluated by Collins on Oct. 16 in Pittsburgh. On Monday, Earnhardt ran 123 laps in a Sprint Cup car during a test session monitored by Petty at the half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. Petty cleared the driver Tuesday morning following a final neuropsychological evaluation in Charlotte.

Earnhardt missed the Oct. 13 Charlotte Motor Speedway and Oct. 21 Kansas Speedway events.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I find it mildly entertaining that multiple Jr. fans that I have spoken to are saying that Junior gave up the championship in the name of safety... using his unfortunate injury as the only excuse for him not winning the cup title this year.

    What many of them failed to realize that his performance slipped up once he entered the chase and he most likely would finish in the middle of the pack of chasers. Now I know Tony Stewart went on a steak last year so I suppose anything can happen. But to use Junior's concussion as the leading reason he lost the championship this year fails to see that he's gradually improving but is not quite a champion caliber team.

    You have to win multiple races a season to do that and he's only won a single race this year. It's funny that a number of his fans use his time away from the car as a way to console themselves for him not winning the championship.

    I'm glad his health is better and I look forward to seeing him in the race car. I can't wait to see how the points shake out after Martinsville!