Dale Earnhardt Jr. to miss races at Watkins Glen and Bristol

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss two more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races beginning this weekend, as once again Jeff Gordon will substitute for him behind the wheel of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Earnhardt is continuing to recover from concussion-like symptoms and Gordon will drive the No. 88 at Watkins Glen International in the Cheez-It 355 on Sunday, as well as the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The road race at the Glen will mark Gordon’s 800th career NASCAR Premier Series start. 

This will be Gordon’s third weekend in the No. 88. Alex Bowman replaced Earnhardt for the first race he missed at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month.


There is no timetable for Earnhardt’s return. 

NASCAR’s most popular driver Tweeted over the weekend that his concussion symptoms had plateaued. 

In his weekly Dale Jr. Download  podcast on Monday, Earnhardt talked about his health.

"There’s days when you’re feeling positive and then there’s days when you’re frustrated and that certainly comes and goes with the process," Earnhardt said Monday. "There hasn’t been a lot of change over the last couple of weeks. As I said in the Tweet, the symptoms have kind of plateaued.

"There are days I feel like the balance is better and then there’s certainly moments when it’s not," said Earnhardt. "I’m sleeping a whole lot more,  maybe a lot harder than I did before, which is to be expected. My doctors don’t want me sleeping too much, which is commonly what you hear." 

Earnhardt said balance and vision continue to be issues. 

"The main issue that I have is called gaze stability," Earnhardt said. "That’s the main problem. And that is what I believe is tied to the balance. The gaze issue and the problem with my eyes being able to fix on an object at a great distance and stay there with head movement, that’s the problem. When I move my head, I sort of lose the object that I’m trying to target. That is hand-in-hand with the balance. As one cleans up and improves, so will the other."