Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 10/23/12
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Martinsville Speedway after being medically cleared for competition. Earnhardt Jr. has been participating in a rehabilitation program since being diagnosed with a concussion following the Oct. 7 race at Talladega, Ala. The program was directed by Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty and has involved consultation with Dr. Micky Collins, director of the Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program. "Dale Jr. has done everything asked of him," Petty said. "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." Earnhardt was evaluated by Collins on Oct. 16 in Pittsburgh. On Monday, Earnhardt ran 123 laps in a Sprint Cup car during a test session monitored by Petty at the half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. Petty cleared him Tuesday morning following a final neuropsychological evaluation in Charlotte. Earnhardt Jr. has missed two races and sits 12th in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup standings.
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