Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hendrick 'clarifies' Earnhardt's status

Team owner Rick Hendrick said Sunday that he misspoke earlier Sunday when he said Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been cleared to race next week at Martinsville.

Hendrick came into the Kansas Speedway media center during Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 to correct that: He said Earnhardt -- who has missed the last two races due to two concussions he recently sustained -- still had not been cleared by Dr. Jerry Petty, and that Earnhardt would have a track test Monday at Georgia's Gresham Motorsports Park then be evaluated Tuesday.

Hendrick, however, said he would "be shocked" if Earnhardt is not cleared to race in Martinsville. -- David Scott

Hendrick: Earnhardt cleared

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said Sunday that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been cleared by doctors to race next week at Martinsville.

Earnhardt has missed the Sprint Cup's last two races at Charlotte and Sunday at Kansas after suffering two concussions over the last seven weeks. Earnhardt saw a doctor in Charlotte last week when he continued to feel the effects of the concussions and was advised to sit out two races.

But Earnhardt's condition has improved enough that he was given the the go ahead to race next week.

"He came through with flying colors," Hendrick told ESPN before Sunday's race at Kansas, where Regan Smith will drive Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Chevy. "He's doing great and he's been cleared to race next week at Martinsville." -- David Scott