Dale Earnhardt Jr. Out of NASCAR 2016 Season

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
(Photo courtesy of NASCARmedia.com/Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not return to racing the #88 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series for the remainder of the 2016 season.

The winner of the NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award from 2003-2015 has been sidelined with concussion-like symptoms for the past six Sprint Cup races. The injuries are believed to be a result of a crash that he was involved in at Michigan International Speedway in June. Dale Jr. drove the #88 Chevrolet in the next three Sprint Cup races, then went to see a doctor because of symptoms he was having would not stop. That is when the doctors pulled him from racing due to his medical issues.

In a statement posted this morning (9/2) on both Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s website and Hendrick Motorsports‘ website, the team and driver announced that doctors would not clear Dale Jr. to return to racing for the rest of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

That statement quotes Dale Jr. as saying:

“I wish I could return to the No. 88 team this season,” Earnhardt said. “To say I’m disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how I feel, but I know this is the right thing for my long-term health and career. I’m 100 percent focused on my recovery, and I will continue to follow everything the doctors tell me. They’re seeing good progress in my test results, and I’m feeling that progress physically. I plan to be healthy and ready to compete at Daytona in February. I’m working toward that.

“The support from both inside and outside the race team has been overwhelming. Everyone has been so encouraging and positive, from my teammates and sponsors to my family, friends and fans. It’s motivating and humbling at the same time.”

Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman will continue to tag-team the fill-in schedule of driving the #88 Chevrolet for the remainder of the season.

Sept. 4, Darlington Raceway – Jeff Gordon
Sept. 10, Richmond International Raceway – Jeff Gordon
Sept. 18, Chicagoland Speedway – Alex Bowman
Sept. 25, New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Alex Bowman
Oct. 2, Dover International Speedway – Jeff Gordon
Oct. 8, Charlotte Motor Speedway – Alex Bowman
Oct. 16, Kansas Speedway – Alex Bowman
Oct. 23, Talladega Superspeedway – Alex Bowman
Oct. 30, Martinsville Speedway – Jeff Gordon
Nov. 6, Texas Motor Speedway – Alex Bowman
Nov. 13, Phoenix International Raceway – Alex Bowman
Nov. 20, Homestead-Miami Speedway – Alex Bowman

Get yourself well Dale Jr. and we will look forward to seeing you back on the track in February at Daytona!

By: Buck Stevens