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Earnhardt gets medical clearance to race

Oct. 23, 2012 at 3:43 PM
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CONCORD, N.C., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. will compete at Martinsville Speedway this weekend after being given the green light by doctors Tuesday.

The popular driver missed the last two Sprint Cup races -- Charlotte and Kansas -- after being diagnosed with a concussion days after being part of a 25-car accident Oct. 7 at Talladega. That injury followed a concussion he sustained Aug. 29 at a Kansas event.

Since his latest injury, Earnhardt has been evaluated by neurosurgeon Jerry Petty and other physicians, and Monday he drove 123 test laps in a Sprint Cup Series car at the half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. Petty then cleared him after a final evaluation.

"Dale Jr. has done everything asked of him," Petty said in a statement. "He hasn't had a headache since Oct. 12, and we have not been able to provoke any symptoms since that time. I have informed NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports that he is medically cleared for all NASCAR-related activity."

Having missed two races, Earnhardt is last in the Chase rankings, 122 points behind leader Brad Keselowski.

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