By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced that their full-time driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS, and 13-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss at least the next two races at Watkins Glen and Bristol as he continues to recover from concussion-like symptoms.
After a bunch of cryptic and not-so-optimistic sounding tweets and sound bytes on his podcast over the past several weeks, many have been speculating as to whether Earnhardt would be coming back at all. Wednesday, Earnhardt finally Tweeted out some positive news.
Excited to report I had a great trip to the doctor today for evaluation. Doctors and I both are feeling positive about the progress.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) August 2, 2016
After that Tweet, it now looks more and more like Earnhardt’s return will indeed be happening in the near future so long as he continues to show progress at the doctor’s office.
If Earnhardt does return after Bristol, he will need a medical waiver from NASCAR (John Wes Townley just received one for a similar injury in the Truck Series) and then he will need to win one of the three remaining races before the Chase begins if he wants to attempt to turn one of the scariest seasons of his racing career into his first-ever championship.
The three tracks (Michigan, Darlington and Richmond) are favorable for Earnhardt, but being out of a racecar for six weeks isn’t usually a recipe for winning races. However, Earnhardt does have five total wins at Michigan and Richmond and he has finished in the top-10 in the last three Darlington races including a second-place effort in 2014.