Bowman, Gordon to Continue to Fill In as Earnhardt Will Miss Next Two Races

HHP/ Rusty Jarrett

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been sidelined for the last five races while recovering from a concussion and will be forced to sit out for the next two events at Michigan International Speedway and Darlington Raceway. Earnhardt was not cleared by physicians to return to racing but continues to receive treatment, including an evaluation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

“We know how hard Dale is working to get back,” team owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “He’s following what the doctors are saying, to the letter, and doing exactly what he needs to do. Everyone wants to see him in a race car, but his health is first and foremost. We’re behind him.”

For the second time since Earnhardt first stepped out of the car, Alex Bowman will fill in this weekend in Michigan. Jeff Gordon came out of retirement to fill in for the other four races but had a previous engagement for this weekend in Michigan. He will pilot the No. 88 car the following week in Darlington.

Earnhardt has been very up front about his treatment, posting videos of some of the exercises directed by his doctors.

The best case scenario is that Earnhardt returns in the final regular season race of the Chase at Richmond International Raceway, but nothing has been announced past Darlington.

Bowman finished 26th when he filled in for Earnhardt at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In four races, Gordon is averaging a 16th-place finish.

The race in Michigan is Sunday, August 28th, at 2PM ET while Darlington will be run Saturday night, September 4th at 6PM ET.

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