Health update from Dale Earnhardt Jr.: ‘Light at end of tunnel’ in recovery

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INDIANAPOLIS – With Jeff Gordon climbing into the No. 88 Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. provided hope Friday morning he might be back in his ride soon.

NASCAR’s 13-time most popular voter posted on Twitter that he felt as if health was improving after being sidelined since last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with concussion-like symptoms. Earnhardt also missed two races in 2012 with a concussion.

Earnhardt is out for at least the next two Sprint Cup races. In a Wednesday interview on NASCAR America (video above), crew chief Greg Ives said Earnhardt visited the Hendrick Motorsports shop and provided a morale boost to the team.

Gordon met the news media at 10:30 a.m. to talk about driving for Earnhardt at the Brickyard and next week at Pocono Raceway.

Gordon, who is returning from retirement after the 2015 season, said he woke up feeling good upon seeing Earnhardt’s update. The four-time series champion immediately texted Earnhardt after seeing the tweet.

“That’s great news and a great way to start the day,” Gordon said.

Team owner Rick Hendrick said Earnhardt looks good and is encouraged by his progress.

“He’s in great spirits and wants to get back in the car but also knows the regimen they have him on will get him right for a long time,” Hendrick said. “I can tell he’s getting antsy, but he’s going to do what they say. He’s doing well.”