Dale Earnhardt Jr. wants to donate brain for concussion, CTE research

Mar 19, 2016; Fontana, CA, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) looks on during practice for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 19, 2016; Fontana, CA, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) looks on during practice for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been involved in some nasty crashes over his career, even suffering concussions on multiple occasions. Over the weekend, NASCAR’s most popular driver said he wants to donate his brain for concussion research.

The topic was brought up by a fan responding to a report that three former Raiders will donate their brains in honor of Ken Stabler. Junior chimed in with his thoughts.

While Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is more commonly found in NFL players, there have been cases of concussion-related issues for NASCAR drivers in the past.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has walked away from several large wrecks during his career. Image courtesy of @NASCAR.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has walked away from several large wrecks during his career. Image courtesy of @NASCAR.

Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen was found to have short-term memory loss due to dementia. Bobby Allison, Dick Trickle and Ricky Craven are just a few other names of drivers who dealt with issues from repeated brain trauma over the course of their careers.

Dale Earnhardt also passed away from a basilar skull fracture in 2001 during the Daytona 500. Had research and safety caught up decades earlier, who knows how many deaths or severe injuries could have been prevented on the track.

NASCAR has gotten safer since the tragic death of Earnhardt, but Junior has still suffered concussions during his career in 2002 and 2012 — missing time on the track due to the latter.

In a sport where cars are still flying off the ground like Kyle Larson’s at Fontana, there is still a chance for concussions to occur. If Earnhardt can help find a way to fix the problem in the future, it would be a win for NASCAR and possibly other sports looking to solve this disease.

 

Follow Chicken Bone Alley on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Comments

comments

,