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Dale Jr. to Return at Martinsville

Hendrick Motorsports | Press Release Published 10/23/2012

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 23, 2012) – Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Martinsville, Va., after being medically cleared for competition.

Since being diagnosed with a concussion following the Oct. 7 race at Talladega, Ala., Earnhardt has participated in a rehabilitation program directed by Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty. Throughout the process, Petty consulted with Dr. Micky Collins, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

“Dale Jr. has done everything asked of him,” Petty said. “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 was evaluated by Collins on Oct. 16 in Pittsburgh. On Monday, Earnhardt ran 123 laps in a Sprint Cup car during a test session monitored by Petty at the half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. Petty cleared the driver Tuesday morning following a final neuropsychological evaluation in Charlotte.

Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolets for Hendrick Motorsports, missed the Oct. 13 Charlotte Motor Speedway and Oct. 21 Kansas Speedway events.

MEDIA NOTE: Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be available to members of the media on Friday, Oct. 26 at 11:10 a.m. ET in the Martinsville Speedway media center.

After Bojangles Southern 500
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Jeff Gordon 297 0
2 -- Matt Kenseth 296 -1
3 -- Carl Edwards 278 -19
4 +2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 271 -26
5 +2 Jimmie Johnson 270 -27
6 -1 Kyle Busch 269 -28
7 +1 Brad Keselowski 246 -51
8 -4 Joey Logano 245 -52
9 +2 Ryan Newman 236 -61
10 +2 Austin Dillon # 235 -62
11 +5 Greg Biffle 227 -70
12 +2 Tony Stewart 224 -73
Full Standings