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Dale Earnhardt Jr. medically cleared to resume NASCAR competition

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CONCORD, N.C. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been medically cleared to resume NASCAR competition, according to Hendrick Motorsports.

He will return for the beginning of the 2017 season at the Feb. 26 Daytona 500. Earnhardt Jr. missed the last 18 races with a concussion.

“Dale is one of the hardest-working patients I’ve ever encountered,” said Dr. Micky Collins, medical director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program in Pittsburgh, in a press release.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked, and we believe he is ready to compete at a professional level again and can withstand the normal forces of a race car driver. Dale has been very open with us, and we’ve had plenty of time for his treatment, so we feel very good about his long-term prospects and how this has been managed by everyone involved.”