By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) – In his first public appearance since suffering a concussion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he’s not ready to stop racing.
Speaking at Watkins Glen International on Friday, where the Sprint Cup Series races on Sunday, NASCAR’s most popular driver said “I’m not ready to quit.”
Earnhardt, who skipped the previous three Cup races while he recovers, has been keeping fans updated on his condition via weekly podcasts and said he plans to continue doing that.
Earnhardt gave no timetable for his return, leaving that decision to his doctors, who told him his latest injury occurred June 12 at Michigan International Speedway. He underwent further evaluation Monday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program and said he continues to experience issues with balance and an ability to focus on an object while he moves his head.
He won’t drive at Watkins Glen on Sunday and also will miss the race at Bristol on Aug. 20.
Four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, who came out of retirement to fill in for Earnhardt the last two races, will remain behind the wheel in the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.