FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 23, 2012) – Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver, will be resuming driving duties this weekend in Martinsville, Va., and barring any setbacks will be piloting the No. 88 National Guard/ Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet for the Sunday, Nov. 4, AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt Jr. had missed the past two races – Oct. 13 at Charlotte and this past Sunday at Kansas – as a result of concussions he sustained in crashes Aug. 29 during a test session at Kansas and Oct. 7 during the Sprint Cup race at Talladega. He was replaced by Regan Smith for those two races.
Earnhardt Jr. was cleared Tuesday by neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty, a NASCAR consultant, after he tested a Sprint Cup car at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga.
“Dale Jr. has done everything asked of him,” Petty said in a statement Tuesday. “He hasn’t had a headache since Oct. 12, and we have not been able to provoke any symptoms since that time. I have informed NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports that he is medically cleared for all NASCAR-related activity.”
Earnhardt Jr., 38, had a streak of 461 consecutive Sprint Cup Series race starts snapped when he missed the Charlotte event. The streak dated to the season finale in 1999.
Earnhardt Jr., one of the 12 drivers to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, returns to action in 12th place after missing the last two races, 122 points behind leader Brad Keselowski.
He will look to make up some ground in the final four Chase races of the season, which includes next week’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Following Martinsville and Texas, he will close out the season with stops at Phoenix and Homestead.
Frontstretch tickets remain for next week’s AAA Texas 500 by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com
or by calling (817) 215-8500.