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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Miss Remainder of 2016 Season

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 - Practice
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not return to competition the remainder of the 2016 season as he continues to recover from a concussion suffered in June. 

Hendrick Motorsports made the official announcement Friday morning. Alex Bowman and Jeff Gordon, who have both raced in Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet, will split time for the remaining 12 Sprint Cup Series races. Gordon will race as Earnhardt’s replacement Sunday night at Darlington Raceway in the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

A crash at Michigan International Speedway in June is believed the cause of Earnhardt’s injury. Earnhardt crashed hard on Lap 62 of the Firekeepers Casino 400, but said he felt fine and he went on to compete in the next three races, the last one being the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. He started to experience what he thought were severe allergy symptoms and his doctors diagnosed a concussion.

Earnhardt continues to take part in rehabilitation activities and he has met with medical personnel from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program every two weeks to evaluate his progress. This isn’t the first time Junior has been sidelined by a concussion. In 2012, he missed two races after crashing during practice at Kansas Speedway.

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