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Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Team: Hendrick Motorsports-88
Age / DOB:  (42) / 10/10/1974
Ht / Wt:  6'0 / 165

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Following a test session Wednesday afternoon at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been medically cleared to resume NASCAR competition after making a full recovery from a concussion.
He will return for the beginning of the 2017 season at the Feb. 26 Daytona 500. Earnhardt, 42, was cleared Wednesday evening by Dr. Micky Collins, medical director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program in Pittsburgh, in consultation with Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty. Petty attended the test at the 1.366-mile South Carolina racetrack.-Hendrick Motorsports Dec 8 - 10:05 AM

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the remainder of the 2016 season with Alex Bowman and Jeff Gordon to substitute for the remaining 12 races, according to NBC Sports’ Dustin Long. Gordon will race four more times including this week’s Bojangles' Southern 500; Bowman will take over for the remainder of the season.

Gordon will concentrate on tracks where he has run best in the past. After Darlington, he will race again at Richmond International Raceway the following week, then Dover International Speedway and Martinsville Speedway in October. Bowman will drive the remainder of the schedule. The No. 88 will be an uneven value as the drivers seek chemistry with the team.
Sep 2 - 5:34 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup races, at least. Alex Bowman will substitute at Michigan International Speedway. Jeff Gordon will climb back behind the wheel at Darlington Raceway.

Providing updates in two-week increments makes it difficult to set one’s fantasy roster, but owners should plan on Earnhardt to be out of the car for some time. If he returns, it will likely take a few weeks for him to get comfortable behind the wheel once more. If Junior returns for Richmond and is still in the top 30 in points, he will have one, last-ditch effort to get into the Chase.
Aug 24 - 6:12 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has now missed four races in 2016, which has dropped him to 21st in the standings. With a 169-point advantage over 31st in the standings, he will probably not fall out of the top 30 in points if he returns during the regular season but he needs a victory in order to be championship eligible.

Junior will have only three chances to make the Chase. If he returns to Michigan International Speedway, that will most likely be his best opportunity, but Darlington Raceway is a track where drivers can also control their fate if they approach it with respect.
Aug 14 - 6:16 PM

In a televised press conference before the Cheez-it 355 at the Glen, Dale Earnhardt Jr. told reporters that he remains unclear on when he will return to the track. A final evaluation will not be made until he is symptom-free and according to his doctors that is impossible to predict.

Earnhardt remains committed to returning to the cockpit and the uncertainty is frustrating to the driver. Realistically, each race he misses contributes to the likelihood that he will take the remainder of the season off. Earnhardt is scheduled to miss at least the next two races at the Glen and Bristol Motor Speedway.
Aug 5 - 12:19 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss at least the next two races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series due to a concussion and will be replaced behind the wheel by Jeff Gordon, according to reports at NBC Sports.

Watkins Glen International and Bristol Motor Speedway were once strongholds for Gordon and his longer tenure behind the wheel should help the team develop some chemistry. The No. 88 is not an automatic pick by any stretch of the imagination, however, and their status will remain in limbo until Earnhardt’s full time status is revealed, but they will be useful in games that require allocation management.
Aug 2 - 6:24 PM

During his weekly podcast earlier this week, Dale Earnhardt Jr. gave his fans an update on his health. "This process is going to take a little bit longer," he said—strongly suggesting he will not return to the cockpit next week. No announcement has been made about his replacement.

Since fantasy owners do not know who will be behind the wheel, it is impossible to determine the impact of Earnhardt’s vacancy. Junior was steadily declining in cap value before he announced his injury, however, so the current driver will probably be a better choice by comparison.
Source: NASCAR.com
Jul 29 - 12:18 PM

Hendrick Motorsports made their official announcement Wednesday morning. Jeff Gordon will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. for at least the next two races beginning with the Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard. Earnhardt has not been cleared by physicians to compete.

Gordon is going to be one of the best fantasy values in the coming weeks. While most salary cap games know to add him at a high value, he is still likely to exceed expectations on the 2.5-mile flat tracks of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway coming up on the schedule. Gordon has nothing to prove, but would like to make a statement nonetheless. He has been consistently stronger than Earnhardt throughout his career and at Indy in particular. Gordon’s most recent win at the Brickyard came two season ago, but last year an accident left him with a sour taste.
Jul 20 - 10:49 AM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the New Hampshire 301 because of concussion-like symptoms, according to reports at NBC Sports. Earnhardt has been experiencing symptoms since taking hard hits at Michigan International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. He was feeling badly before last week’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, but thought he was suffering from severe allergies. It is unknown how long he will be out of contention.

As one of the drivers on the cusp of Chase contention, this is going to be a blow to the team regardless of whether NASCAR gives him an exemption. Earnhardt’s recent success at Pocono might make him a popular pick this week, so make certain he is not on your fantasy roster.
Jul 14 - 10:01 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has scored only one top-10 finish in his last 10 flat track starts, but it was a strong run. He finished second in the Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway.

That was the latest race run on a flat track and it positively impacts Junior’s handicap this week. It is difficult to make him a favorite because of the nine results outside the top 10, however.
Jul 14 - 12:27 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. notably failed to advance to the final round of qualification for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. His lap of 191.071 mph was good enough for only 16th on the grid.

This is the first time in six races that Junior has failed to qualify on one of the first five rows. The last time he started outside the top 10 came in the 2013 edition of this race. He started 16th en route to an eighth-place finish.
Jul 1 - 5:57 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fastest in final practice for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, but he knew several drivers had faster cars than they showed. As it turned out, 12 cars were faster. Junior qualified 13th with a lap of 95.329 mph.

Even though Earnhardt failed to advance to the final round, this will be his best starting position while racing for Hendrick Motorsports. Two years ago he started 17th and finished third; last year he advanced from 20th to seventh. His previous best starting position was 15th in his first attempt in the No. 88 in 2008.
Jun 25 - 2:56 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted the fastest single lap in the final practice session for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. His best lap was set at 95.298 mph.

Earnhardt has not qualified better than 15th since joining Hendrick Motorsports, but he scored back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2014/2015. If he starts up front this week, he should be considered a favorite to maintain that track position in race trim.
Jun 24 - 8:05 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. failed to advance to the second round of qualification for the Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. His lap of 196.078 mph was good enough for only 27th on the grid.

Qualification has not been Earnhardt’s strong suit this season. This will be the fourth time in 2016 he starts a race worse than 24th. One of these came at Auto Club Speedway—another two-mile track—and he nearly cracked the top 10 with an 11th-place result.
Jun 10 - 5:06 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has not yet won a Sprint Cup race in 2016, but he had three second-place finishes entering the Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway. He is still winless, but had a great points’ day with his fourth runner-up result.

Earnhardt had back-to-back seconds at Texas Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway before falling outside the top 10 in five straight races following the Food City 500. This could be the momentum shift he needs.
Jun 6 - 3:42 PM