CONCORD, N.C. -- Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the remainder of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as he recovers from a concussion.
Earnhardt last drove on July 9 at Kentucky Speedway, but he removed himself from the following race after doctors said he was suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
“I wish I could return to the No. 88 team this season,” Earnhardt said, according to Hendrick Motorsports. “To say I’m disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how I feel, but I know this is the right thing for my long-term health and career. I’m 100 percent focused on my recovery, and I will continue to follow everything the doctors tell me. They’re seeing good progress in my test results, and I’m feeling that progress physically. I plan to be healthy and ready to compete at Daytona in February. I’m working toward that.
Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman will both continue to substitute for Earnhardt Jr. in the season's 12 remaining races. Gordon drove for the team at Indianapolis, Pocono, Watkins Glen and Bristol while Bowman drove at New Hampshire and Michigan.
Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 driver schedule:
Sept. 4, Darlington Raceway – Jeff Gordon
Sept. 10, Richmond International Raceway – Jeff Gordon
Sept. 18, Chicagoland Speedway – Alex Bowman
Sept. 25, New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Alex Bowman
Oct. 2, Dover International Speedway – Jeff Gordon
Oct. 8, Charlotte Motor Speedway – Alex Bowman
Oct. 16, Kansas Speedway – Alex Bowman
Oct. 23, Talladega Superspeedway – Alex Bowman
Oct. 30, Martinsville Speedway – Jeff Gordon
Nov. 6, Texas Motor Speedway – Alex Bowman
Nov. 13, Phoenix International Raceway – Alex Bowman
Nov. 20, Homestead-Miami Speedway – Alex Bowman