Earnhardt Jr. cleared to race at Martinsville

Associated Press Modified: October 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm •  Published: October 23, 2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. was cleared Tuesday for this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway after missing the last two weeks to recover from a pair of concussions.

NASCAR's most popular driver was examined by neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty one a day after he ran 123 laps at half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. Petty monitored Earnhardt during Monday's test at Gresham.

"Dale Jr. has done everything asked of him," said Petty, who consults with NASCAR and is Earnhardt's personal physician. "He hasn't had a headache since Oct. 12, and we have not been able to provoke any symptoms since that time. I have informed NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports that he is medically cleared for all NASCAR-related activity."

Petty sidelined Earnhardt after the driver went to see him complaining of a lingering headache following a 25-car accident on the last lap of the Oct. 7 race at Talladega. Petty diagnosed Earnhardt with a concussion, and said Earnhardt also suffered one in an Aug. 29 crash during a tire test at Kansas that went untreated.

The injury snapped Earnhardt's streak of 461 consecutive starts, the fifth-longest active streak in the Sprint Cup Series, and ended his shot to win the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.



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