Following Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffering two concussions in just six weeks, NASCAR is beginning to evaluate medical policies within the sport. NASCAR is considering whether or not it should require baseline testing for drivers before the season begins, procedures similar to what IndyCar Series and other sports already require.
On August 29, Earnhardt announced that he suffered from a concussion after crashing in a test session at Kansas Speedway, but admitted to continue racing even while feeling ill. He then suffered another concussion in a wreck at Talladega Superspeedway on October 7 while in the last lap.
“We are always evaluating and reviewing our policies and procedures, especially when it comes to safety,'' said Kerry Tharp, NASCAR spokesman . "We will continue to work closely and review our policies with the medical experts that advise NASCAR on baseline testing and other medical issues.While not mandatory, baseline testing can and has been used and is just one of the many tools a neurologist or neurosurgeon may use as part of a neurological assessment.''
Similar discussions are being made in the NFL pertaining to head concussions. The main difference between the two is that a quarterback or injured football player can sit out and still have a chance of a season going on, a NASCAR racer has to compete in order to contend for the Cup.