Concord, NC (Sports Network) - Hendrick Motorsports revealed on Thursday morning that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not compete in the next two Sprint Cup Series races due to a concussion he suffered last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Earnhardt Jr., who is the most popular driver in NASCAR, was involved in a 25- car crash on the final lap at Talladega. According to a news release from HMS, he was diagnosed with a concussion on Wednesday in Charlotte. Earnhardt Jr. will miss Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Oct. 21 event at Kansas Speedway.
Regan Smith will substitute for Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet at both racetracks. Smith made his last start in the No. 78 car for Furniture Row Racing at Talladega. Kurt Busch is driving that car for the remaining six races this season.
After finishing 20th at Talladega, Earnhardt Jr. fell to 11th in the championship Chase point standings. He is 51 points behind leader Brad Keselowski.
Earnhardt Jr. expressed his anger about restrictor-plate racing at Talladega and Daytona International Speedway, saying, "If this is what we did every week. I wouldn't be doing it. I will just put it to you like that. If this is how we raced every week, I would find another job."