Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not compete in the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, including this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the following week at Kansas Speedway after being diagnosed with a concussion following the Oct. 7 race at Talladega, Ala. Hendrick Motorsports announced the decision in a news release early Thursday. Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet, was diagnosed Wednesday afternoon in Charlotte. Regan Smith will be the team's substitute driver. Earnhardt was upset after the last-lap wreck at Talladega that wiped out 24 cars. "It's not safe," said Earnhardt. "I mean, it's not. It's bloodthirsty, if that's what people want. It's ridiculous. It's really not racing. If this is how we're going to race, and this is how we're going to continue to race and nothing is going to change, how about NASCAR build the cars? It'll save us a lot of money. I don't even want to go to Daytona or Talladega next year, but I ain't got much choice." Earnhardt spent most of the race at Talladega trying to recover from a pit-road speeding penalty. It took him most of the race to get back on the lead lap. And then when he did, he was part of the "Big One" on the last lap of the race, and he ended the day in 20th place. "I just took a lot of hard shots," said Earnhardt. "If this is what we did every week I wouldn't be doing it. I will just put it to you like that. If this is how we raced every week I would find another job."
- Charlotte Motor Speedway
- Kansas Speedway