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Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives explanation of eye test after Daytona 500 crash

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After Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in the wreck that knocked him out of Sunday’s Daytona 500, he did something unusual – but also something that has and will continue to become more normal for him as time goes on.

In laymen’s terms, Earnhardt gave himself an “eye test” to make sure he did not suffer any type of concussion-like symptoms from the impact.

During his weekly online podcast Monday, titled “Moving on after up ‘n down Speedweeks,” Earnhardt was very illustrative and candid about how he self-tested and self-diagnosed himself to make sure he wasn’t in any type of danger while he awaited rescue workers to get to him.

What Earnhardt said is fascinating in its context and content:

“We got a lot of questions and conversation about doing an eye test inside the car. So after the accident, we were sitting on the front straightaway, we got a red flag, so I decided to do a little self-diagnosing of my head.

“Obviously, going through everything we went through last year, I’m pretty self-aware and I understand there are a few things I can do. I’ve done a lot of training and rehab on my own over the last six months to get this concussion cleared up. So I understand a lot of things I can do to understand where I’m at, how healthy I am and whether I have any issues.

“One of those is a very simple eye test. Basically, you take the point of your finger, the end of your finger, or a dot on a piece of paper and bring it slowly close, kind of in-between your eyes to your nose. That dot or whatever the target is you’re looking at, you need to be able to hold that dot as one.

“What I mean is that as you get closer to your nose, eventually your eyes are going to go bonkers and it’s going to split and you’re going to see two dots. That needs to happen right off the tip of your nose, real close within an inch or so.

“If you have a head injury or any type of concussion, that object will split much further out, six inches or a foot out. That’s when you know you’ve got a little bit of an event going on in your head, however you want to describe it.”

Earnhardt first started using the self-test in December when he tested at Darlington Speedway to get medical clearance to return to driving a race car.

“It’s just a real quick, simple self-test that a doctor can use. When we were at Darlington testing for the clearance in December, (Dr. Jerry Petty) was there. Every time I got in the car, that was the first thing he did, over and over and over. When you go to Dr. Petty and say you think you have a concussion, that’s the first thing he’s going to do.

“I obviously brought a lot of attention to myself unnecessarily and I regret that, but I’m sitting there under the red flag and it’s eating me alive. A lot of the symptoms that I’ve had in concussions in the past, I don’t feel when I’m inside in the car, sitting down. Your heart is thumping, racing.

“That’s the only thing I could do to go okay, this looks normal, this feels normal. I should have waited until I got out of the car and not drawn so much attention to myself, but I couldn’t wait under the red flag and I wanted to know.”

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Xfinity race results, point standings after Bristol

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Chase Briscoe led the final six laps and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol for his seventh win of the season.

Briscoe beat Ross Chastain for the win. The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

Click here for the race results.

Playoff standings

The 12-driver field for the playoffs has been set with Briscoe’s win in the regular-season finale.

Brandon Brown placed 12th and clinched the 12th and final spot.

Here are the re-seeded point standings entering the playoffs.

Chase Briscoe – 2,050 points

Austin Cindric – 2,050

Justin Allgaier – 2,033

Noah Gragson – 2,025

Brandon Jones – 2,020

Justin Haley – 2,018

Harrison Burton – 2,014

Ross Chastain – 2,010

Ryan Sieg – 2,002

Michael Annett – 2,002

Riley Herbst – 2,001

Brandon Brown – 2,000

Click here for the re-seeded standings.

Click here for the normal point standings.

Chase Briscoe wins Xfinity race at Bristol Motor Speedway

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Chase Briscoe took the lead with six laps to go and won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, which marked the end of the regular season.

Briscoe passed Austin Cindric to assume the lead and went unchallenged to the checkered flag. The victory is his series-leading seventh of the season.

“I was so mad after last week (at Richmond),” Briscoe told NBCSN. “I told all the guys there ain’t no way we’re getting beat today. I was so mad after how we ran last week and I get on the internet all the time and see guys count us out after one bad race and I know what this team is capable. … I finished second here the last two races and I wanted to win here so bad and it’s awesome that I can actually celebrate it with all these race fans.”

The top five was completed by Ross Chastain, Cindric, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier.

More: Race results, playoff standings

Allgaier dominated the early portion of the race, leading 126 laps and winning the first two stages. But he lost the lead for good in the pits during the Stage 2 break.

Brandon Brown finished 12th and clinched the 12th and final playoff spot.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ross Chastain led three times for 117 laps, but had to settle for his fifth runner-up finish of the season without a win … Austin Cindric earned his 13th top-10 finish in the last 14 races … Harrison Burton earned his 13th top five of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brett Moffitt finished 27th after he had to pit three times in the opening laps and was penalized for taking fuel before the competition caution … BJ McLeod finished 34th after he was eliminated in a multi-car wreck that began when he made contact with teammate Jeffrey EarnhardtMichael Annett finished 31st and Joe Graf Jr. placed 27th after they were involved in an incident on Lap 120.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “I hit pit road and I wanted to cry.” – Ross Chastain after he finished second for the fifth time this year. He is winless entering the playoffs.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Xfinity playoffs open at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 26 on NBCSN.

 

Fans not allowed at Las Vegas races

Fans not allowed
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Spectators will be not be allowed for any of the NASCAR playoff races next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the track announced Friday night.

A press release said only essential personnel will be allowed to attend the Cup, Xfinity and Truck playoff races there.

“To say we’re disappointed that we will conduct the South Point 400 playoff weekend without fans would be a gross understatement,” said Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell. “Our staff has been working – many of them remotely – since the February Pennzoil 400 to prepare the speedway for our playoff tripleheader.

“But we must adhere to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s directive that limits gatherings due to COVID-19.  While we disagree with this policy, we have no choice but to oblige.  We certainly regret this situation for the thousands of race fans who won’t be able to attend our NASCAR-weekend events.”

Nevada’s re-opening plan does not permit fans at sporting events, concerts. Groups are limited to 50 or fewer people.

The Las Vegas Raiders announced last month that they would not have fans at any of the team’s home games in its inaugural season there.

The Truck playoff race will be at 9 p.m. ET Sept. 25 on FS1. The Xfinity playoff opener will be at  7:30 p.m. ET Sept. 26 on NBCSN. The Cup playoff race will be 7 p.m. ET Sept. 27 on NBCSN.

Fans holding tickets for those events will be contacted by the speedway ticket services department to discuss credits for future races or refunds.

Pit crew change for Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson teams

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Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson each will have a pit crew change for Saturday night’s playoff race at Bristol.

The change is the result of an injury to one pit crew member.

Dustin Lineback, jackman for Bowman’s team is out with an injury, the team stated. Kyle Tudor, who has been Johnson’s jackman, moves over to that role for Bowman’s team. Eric Ludwig, a backup for Hendrick Motorsports, moves up to be the jackman for Johnson.

MORE: Saturday Cup race at Bristol: Start time, forecast, lineup

Bowman enters the elimination race 27 points ahead of teammate William Byron, the first driver outside a transfer spot to the second round. Bowman opened the playoffs by finishing sixth in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He followed that by placing ninth at Richmond. Bowman was collected in a crash and finished 37th in the May Bristol race.

Johnson, who is in his final full-time Cup season, seeks his first victory of the season. He finished third at Bristol in May.