By AMANDA VINCENT
The subject of concusssions has been big news in racing, again, since a misdiagnosis of Will Power sidelined the driver for the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 13. NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., kept the subject at the top of the discussion list on Sunday with a couple of tweets declaring that, upon his death, he’s going to donate his brain to science for concussion research.
“Why? What use is it to you at that point? I’m gonna donate mine.”
“I’m donating everything one way or another.”
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr)
Earnhardt suffered two concussions in a short period of time in 2012, the first coming during a test at Kansas Speedway near Kansas City, Kan., and the second in a race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. He self-diagnosed his Kansas concussion and continued to race. After his Talladega crash, though, he voluntarily submitted himself for evaluation and sat out two Chase for the Sprint Cup races. He also suffered a concussion during an early-season race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., but continued to race, keeping quiet about that concussion until later in the season.
NASCAR has since implemented mandatory baseline concussion testing.
By proclaiming that he’ll donate his brain for concussion research, Earnhardt follows in the footsteps of several NFL players and other athletes in sports in which head injuries have been a big issue.
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