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NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes the announcement that fans were dreading AP Photo/Garry Jones
FILE - In this July 7, 2011, file photo, drivers Jeff Gordon, left, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. talk in the garage area during a practice session for the Sprint Cup Series auto race at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. Gordon will get one more shot to win in Indianapolis this weekend when he replaces Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 car. On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Earnhardt would miss the next two weeks as he continues to battle balance issues and nausea. (AP Photo/Garry Jones, FIle)

Well – it’s official.

After much talk and much concern over NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s concussion symptoms that kept him from racing in New Hampshire on July 17, the announcement has been made that this break from driving might just end up being longer than anyone first thought.

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Jeff Gordon will now come out of retirement and return to Sprint Cup racing to replace Dale for the next two races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Speedway. NASCAR fans will recall that Jeff’s successes at Indy have been many, winning five times at the storied track, including at the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994.

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In terms of the health of Dale Jr., reports have said that he has been battling balance and nausea – a possible result of two crashes in a row both at Michigan and Daytona.

“[My doctors] can give me a lot of exercises that retrain my brain to handle what I need to handle — it’s just going to take a lot of patience,” Earnhardt said in a weekly podcast, according to ABC News. “I take my health and quality of life as a top priority… I am going to take this slow and strictly take the advice of my doctors.”

We wish Dale the sincerest of get-well wishes and a bunch of good luck to Jeff this weekend!

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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