|Earnhardt will remain sidelined|
Earnhardt will miss this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as next Sunday afternoon’s event at Pocono (PA) Raceway. Hendrick Motorsports has tabbed four-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon to replace Earnhardt at Indianapolis and Pocono. He is a five-time winner of the Brickyard 400 at Indy and owns six career checkered flags at Pocono Raceway; both series records. He most recently competed in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Earnhardt underwent further evaluation Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program, after revealing on his “Dale Jr. Download” podcast that he has been struggling with balance and nausea.
“Our focus is giving Dale all the time he needs to recover,” said HMS owner Rick Hendrick today. “There’s nothing we want more than to see him back in the race car, but we’ll continue to listen to the doctors and follow their lead. What’s best for Dale is what’s best for Hendrick Motorsports and everyone involved with the team. We’re all proud of him and looking forward to having him racing soon.”
Hendrick also commented on his choice of Gordon to drive the No. 88 Chevrolet in Earnhardt’s absence, calling him “a team player. I know he’ll be ready, and I know Dale has incredible trust in him. It’s going to be an emotional weekend with Dale not being there and seeing Jeff back behind the wheel.”
Hendrick and Gordon will meet with the media Friday at 10:30 a.m. ET in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center.