Rick Hendrick on Earnhardt Jr.: ‘I don’t see anything holding us back’

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If all goes as planned, Dale Earnhardt Jr. should be back testing a race car by sometime next month with the goal of racing full-time in 2017, starting with the Feb. 26 Daytona 500, according to team owner Rick Hendrick.

“He feels great. Everything's on track,” the Associated Press reported Hendrick as saying Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “Every step that we need to go through, we've gone through. I don't see anything holding us back.”

Earnhardt has said he believed he suffered his seas0n-ending concussion in a crash at Michigan International Speedway in June. He has not raced since competing at Kentucky Speedway July 9 and will end the year having entered 18 of a scheduled 36 races.

In his absence, Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman have filled in for Earnhardt behind the wheel of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the second half of the season.

Bowman will pilot the No. 88 in Sunday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.