Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered a concussion in Michigan and missed 18 races in 2016 as a result, but the NASCAR star has just been given the medical all clear to race at season-opening Daytona 500 that commences February 26th.
Earnhardt Jr. was relieved to have passed the medical that included racing-related assessments including a 15-hour stint on a racing simulator and 185 laps at Darlington. Regarding the news that he will make it to the season-opener, Earnhardt Jr. said,
“I feel great, and I’m excited to officially be back,” Earnhardt said. “I expected things to go really well (Wednesday), and that’s exactly what happened. Actually getting in a race car was an important final step, and it gives me a ton of confidence going into 2017. When it’s time to go to Daytona, I’ll be ready.”
– Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The Hendrick Motorsport driver was given the all-clear by Dr Micky Collins, who certified that Earnhardt Jr. was hugely motivated to get back in the car.
“Dale is one of the hardest-working patients I’ve ever encountered. He’s done everything we’ve asked, and we believe he is ready to compete at a professional level again and can withstand the normal forces of a race car driver.
Dale has been very open with us, and we’ve had plenty of time for his treatment, so we feel very good about his long-term prospects and how this has been managed by everyone involved.”