Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not be gearing up on the race track for the remainder of the 2016 season.
According to Hendrick Motosport, the veteran driver will be sidelined for the rest of the year due to his recovery with a concussion, the third one in four years.
Earnhardt Jr. last raced on July 9 at Kentucky Speedway, but withdrew himself for the following contest once doctors revealed that he was suffering from concussion-like symptoms. The tests determined that Earnhardt Jr. endured a concussion in a crash at Michigan International Speedway back on June 12.
“I wish I could return to the No. 88 team this season,” Earnhardt said in a statement. “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.”
Both Alex Bowman and Jeff Gordon have been the interchangeable pieces during Earnhardt Jr.’s absence. The former has made a pair of starts while the latter has made four; Gordon will also be at the helm for the weekend race which takes place at Darlington Raceway.
The 41-year-old Earnhardt Jr. has 26 career Sprint Cup victories to his credit and can only watch as Bowman, 23, and the long-tenured Gordon man the ship.