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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Friday that he will miss the rest of the NASCAR season as he recovers from a concussion.
Earnhardt first began experiencing concussion-like symptoms in late July, and has since been undergoing treatment. He will not drive in NASCAR’s final 18 races of the season.
“I wish I could return to the No. 88 team this season. To say I'm disappointed doesn't begin to describe how I feel, but I know this is the right thing for my long-term health and career," Earnhardt said on his website. "I'm 100 percent focused on my recovery, and I will continue to follow everything the doctors tell me."
Earnhardt said he plans to return to action in February for the season-opening Daytona 500.
Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman will continue to share seat time in the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. Gordon will drive four races, including Sunday at Darlington Raceway, as well as Richmond, Dover and Martinsville. Bowman will finish the year with eight more starts.
Earnhardt missed two races during the 2012 season after suffering two concussions over a six-week period.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.