Hendrick clarifies Dale Jr. comments

Image: NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. (© Kevin Liles/US Presswire)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 'anxious' to return, team owner Rick Hendrick says.
Share This Story

Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.



Team owner Rick Hendrick has clarified his comments from early Sunday regarding Dale Earnhardt Jr., saying the NASCAR Sprint Cup star is not yet officially cleared to return to racing.

Hendrick had confirmed that Earnhardt Jr. was cleared to race next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. During Sunday's Chase for the Sprint Cup race at Kansas, however, he said that although Earnhardt Jr. has done well in tests up to this point, he has an on-track test Monday and a test in Dr. Jerry Petty's office Tuesday and has not yet been officially cleared.

Earnhardt was diagnosed with a concussion after a last-lap crash at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 7. The injury followed an earlier crash during testing at Kansas Speedway on Aug. 29, which NASCAR measured at 40 Gs of G-force.

On Oct. 11, Earnhardt announced he was withdrawing from Sprint Cup competition for the next two weeks while he underwent the recovery process.

Earnhardt was 11th in Sprint Cup points at the time of his announcement. Regan Smith has subbed for Earnhardt in his absence.

Hendrick said early Sunday that Earnhardt was “anxious” to return to competition.

“He can’t wait to get back in the car," Hendrick said. "He’s really anxious — and we’re anxious to get him back.”

“Dale is a good friend,” Hendrick added. “He means so much to the sport. He means so much to our company. And I care about him. But he’s the sparkplug for this sport and our organization too. It just shows you how fragile things are and how you can get hurt in these cars. As much as we do to make them safe, things can happen.”

Tagged: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

More Stories From Lee Spencer

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


First Turn: Best Rookie Seasons - No. 9: Kyle Busch Posted: Apr 17, 2014
In a new segment called “First Turn”, The Hub is counting down the best rookie s...

NASCAR Race Hub: Should We Worry About the 48 Team? Posted: Apr 17, 2014
With the new Chase rules putting a heavy emphasis on winning, after eight races,...

The Mock Run with Kaitlyn Vincie: Creepy Selfies Posted: Apr 17, 2014
Kaitlyn Vincie and Nascarcasm tackle Kevin Harvick's Creepy Selfie, Dead Bird-Na...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal 26.95 Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal
    Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black 19.95 Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black 9.99 Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash 24.95 Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash