Racing

Posted: July 22, 2016

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces break from racing, Jeff Gordon steps in

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet (left), celebrates with Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet (left), celebrates with Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

By Tricia Despres

It’s official. After much talk and concern over concussion symptoms displayed by NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr., it's been announced that his break from driving may end up being out for longer than anyone first thought.

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The symptoms kept Earnhardt from racing in New Hampshire on July 17.

Jeff Gordon will come out of retirement and return to Sprint Cup racing to act as Earnhardt's replacement for the next two races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Speedway.

NASCAR fans will recall that Gordon has had much success at Indy, winning five times at the storied track -- including at the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994.

In terms of Earnhardt's health, reports have indicated that he has been battling balance problems and nausea -- possibly from a pair of back-to-back crashes in Michigan and Daytona.

"(My doctors) can give me a lot of exercises that retrain my brain to handle what I need to handle -- it's just going to take a lot of patience," Earnhardt said in a podcast, according to ABC News. "I take my health and quality of life as a top priority. … I am going to take this slow and strictly take the advice of my doctors."

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