With championship title hopes on the line, the chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has been cut short for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
It was announced by NASCAR.com that Earnhardt would miss the next two Cup races beginning at Charlotte due to a concussion. Earnhardt suffered a concussion during last Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. He will also miss the following race at Kansas Speedway.
The “big one” at Talladega on Sunday is considered to have played a part in Earnhardt’s concussion, when 25 cars were caught in the last lap wreck.
Hendrick Motorsports confirmed Earnhardt’s concussion in a statement and that it had been diagnosed Wednesday afternoon.
Replacing Earnhardt in the No.88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will be Regan Smith. Smith will be the substitute driver at Charlotte and Kansas. After Talladega, Smith was set to drive the No.51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet after the departure of driver Kurt Busch from that team.
Since Talladega, Earnhardt sits 11th in the chase points standings. With Earnhardt sitting out the next two races, it will end his streak of 461-cup starts.
As Earnhardt will now sit out from the next two races it would feel weird not seeing him behind the wheel of the No.88 Chevy. After 461 consecutive Cup start sit would make the series most popular driver like the missing piece to a puzzle. As fans have been accustomed to having him on the track for every race.
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