When Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbed from his car after crashing at Talladega Superspeedway, he kept rubbing his head. Though the driver said he was "fine," it was clear he was in pain.
Now we know why.
Earnhardt Jr. will not race at Charlotte and Kansas after being diagnosed with a concussion Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday morning. Regan Smith, who lost his ride at Furniture Row Racing, will substitute in the No. 88 car for the next two weeks.
When Earnhardt Jr. did his post-race media interview, he was able to speak lucidly but seemed somewhat disgusted by the questions he was getting. He lashed out at the style of racing and called it "bloodthirsty," but told SB Nation on Tuesday he regretted the strong remarks.
Earnhardt Jr. is 11th in the point standings after what had been his best and most consistent season ever.
We'll know more this morning at 11 a.m. Eastern, when Earnhardt Jr. addresses the media along with team owner Rick Hendrick and crew chief Steve Letarte.