Dale Earnhardt Jr. at his Charlotte press conference. (Getty)
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to undergo tests, both inside the car and out of it, on Monday and Tuesday to determine his availability for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville.
Junior has missed the previous two Sprint Cup Series races after being diagnosed with a concussion after a last lap pileup at Talladega two weeks ago. At the time, it was also determined that he had suffered a previously undiagnosed concussion at the end of August at Kansas Speedway when he crashed during a Goodyear tire test.
On Sunday, team owner Rick Hendrick originally said before the race that Junior had already been cleared to race at Martinsville. However, in a mid-race press conference on Sunday, Hendrick clarified his remarks, and said that Junior still needed to pass a test in the car at Gresham Motorsports Park on Monday, and would see neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty at Petty's office on Tuesday.
"However, I didn't know until (Hendrick Motorsports PR Director Jesse Essex) informed me that I had gotten ahead of myself and that there is a closed test on Monday that Dr. Petty will attend," Hendrick said. "Dale will be back in the car (for that test) and he'll make the decision with a final test on Tuesday. So, we don't foresee any problems but I didn't read my emails this morning and I kind of got ahead of myself. I talked to the doctor myself and everything went good in Pittsburgh and Dr. petty felt real good about it. And I did know that they were going to shake down a car, but I didn't know that the doctor was going and that he would actually be evaluating him Tuesday. I apologize for that. The test (Tuesday) is in (Dr. Petty's) office. The test Monday is in the car."
Junior saw concussion specialists last week in Pittsburgh, and Hendrick said he would be shocked if Junior wasn't cleared for Martinsville.
"I will be shocked if he's not in the car. Everything looks good. His attitude and the way he feels, he's had no headaches since Thursday or Friday of Charlotte and the tests have gone real well. I think Dr. Petty is just being super-cautious and I applaud him for that," Hendrick said.
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