Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s fan favorite, is going to miss the next two weeks of racing as he tries to recover from a concussion. Junior will miss Saturday’s race at Charlotte as well as the 400 mile race on Oct. 21 at Kansas Speedway.
Earnhardt, who just turned 38 on Wednesday, complained of feeling disorientated after he got hit from behindat Talladega. Symptoms crept back after he suffered a concussion earlier this year during a test ride in August at Kansas Speedway. NASCAR is taking the same steps that the NFL takes now in treating concussions. At a press conference with Earnhardt in Charlotte, NC. Dr. Jerry Petty, a consultant to NASCAR talked about Junior’s situation.
“We’ve patterned our rules after the NFL to a degree. We would do the same procedure about giving them five or six days without a headache and then doing provocative tests,” said Petty. “Ninety percent of a concussion probably depends on an individual’s information. By and large, it’s the history that the patient gives that is the thing that tells you that they’ve had a concussion. A concussion can be seeing stars. A concussion can be just being addled for a minute. Anytime the brain is not doing what it’s supposed to be doing after an acceleration or deceleration, that’s a concussion.”
Earnhardt himself knew something wasn’t right as soon as the wreck occured.
“I knew that I had sort of regressed and had a bit of a setback and knew as soon as it happened that I had reinjured myself,” said Earnhardt. He will be replaced in the #88 by Regan Smith.