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Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, will not be competing in the next two NASCAR Chase to the Sprint Cup races (Charlotte and Kansas) due to suffering a concussion after the multi-car wreck last week in Talladega.
There was a press conference held earlier today at Charlotte Motor Speedway which included team owner Rick Hendrick, crew chief Steve Letarte, neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty and Earnhardt Jr.
"I guess I'll just start out with where this all kind of began. We had a test at Kansas about five weeks ago and we blew a right front tire going into Turn 1. I remember everything about that accident and everything after that accident. You know your body and you know how your mind works, I knew something was just not quite right. But I decided to just try to push through and work through it. I'd had concussions before and knew exactly kind of what I was dealing with. I felt pretty good after a week or two, definitely 80-90% by the time the Chase started and by the time we got to Talladega 100%. I felt really good. And then the accident at the end of that race, I was hit in the left rear quarter panel and it was sort of an odd kind of a collision where the car spun around really quick and just sort of disoriented me. I knew that I had sort of regressed and had a bit of a setback.” For more of the transcript, click here.
NASCAR driver Regan Smith has been selected to compete in the next two Cup races while Earnhardt Jr. recovers from his current injury. While Smith moves to the No. 88, A.J. Allmendinger will be piloting the No. 51 for Phoenix Racing.