NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the next two races in the chase for the Sprint Cup after sustaining a concussion during a massive wreck on the last lap of Sunday's Good Sam 500 at Talladega, Alabama, Earnhardt said Thursday.
Earnhardt was part of a 25-car pileup at Talladega. He told a press conference Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway that he was hit and spun during the wreck, apparently aggravating a concussion injury he sustained during a test run at Kansas Motor Speedway five weeks ago.
Earnhardt's doctor told him that "if you get hit again right away, it could be catastrophic," Rick Hendrick, owner of the Hendrick Motorsports team for which Earnhardt races, said Thursday.
Though Earnhardt said he felt completely recovered from the Kansas wreck by the time the green flag fell at Talladega, he said he knew immediately that the Talladega wreck had caused an injury.
â€śYou know how your body is and you know when somethingâ€™s not quite right, and I knew as soon as it happened that I had re-injured myself,â€ť Earnhardt said Thursday.
â€śIt wasnâ€™t even half of the impact I had at Kansas, but it was enough to cause me some concern,â€ť he said.
After enduring headaches until Wednesday, he met with his doctor.
Tests didn't reveal any problems, he said, but when he discussed the Kansas wreck and how he still felt on Wednesday, the doctor advised him to take some time off.
â€śWhen he tells me I donâ€™t need to be in the car and I need to take a couple weeks off, then thatâ€™s what I need to do,â€ť Earnhardt said.
Repeated concussions can put athletes at risk for chronic traumatic encephelopathy, a neurodegenerative disease with Alzheimer's-like symptoms.
Earnhardt said Thursday he wants to have a long career so he is taking the proper precautions.
"I want to live a healthy life so I wanted to make sure I'm doing the right thing," he said.
Earnhardt, who was a contender for the Sprint Cup season title, finished 20th after the wreck at Talladega, dropping to 11th place in the 12-driver chase for the Sprint Cup. Missing two races assures he cannot win the title.
After the Talladega race, Earnhardt was sharply critical of how NASCAR runs at Talladega and said fans were "bloodthirsty" if they want to see such carnage.
"It's not safe. Wrecking like that, it's ridiculous. It's bloodthirsty if that's what people want,â€ť Earnhardt said afterward, according to news reports, including SI.com.
"If this is what we did every week, I wouldn't be doing it. I'd find another job," Earnhardt said Sunday.
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time to pack it in Jr. Once you've lost your nerve, there's no point.
Catsup or ketchup?
Then why were you saying ketshup earlier?
at least it was not a vital organ
"After the Talladega race, Earnhardt was sharply critical of how NASCAR runs at Talladega and said fans were "bloodthirsty" if they want to see such carnage."
Did Dale make any of these comments after he WON a race? Do I hear crickets chirping?
WOW! That guy in the picture looks just like Patrick!
You mean you mindless trolling under a stolen name?
Keep digging for info, moron.
I'm still baffled when I don't hear an outcry for seatbelts on school busses. When Ernhart Sr. Hit the wall, it was no where near the force with which I've seen others hitting it. (Smh)
How nice; the Patrick *I* know has black hair, is clean-shaven, and tans easily.
This ginger DE would burn up in the sun, lol!
CNN, want to get rid of all the troll posts, thus perhaps saving whatever integrity you have left as a web site, or is your intention to drive away what little loyal bloggers you have left?
When is lack of talent going to keep him out of a race?
Nice move ny the doctor.
Dale Jr.will thank you in ten years because he will be able to remember what you did.
concussions have always been part of sports but now it is a part of racing and I like that we are now taking it serious, think of the future