Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed test in Daytona

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AVONDALE, Ariz. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he passed a big test by racing in the Daytona 500 after a hard crash during the Nationwide race the day before.

Earnhardt missed the final two races in 2012 after suffering post-concussion symptoms and had his health tested during a last-lap crash in the Nationwide Series race last Saturday.

The crash occurred when leader Regan Smith attempted to block Brad Keselowski before the checkered flag, setting off a chain reaction that sent Kyle Larson’s car into the fence and injuring more than two dozen fans.

Earnhardt got caught up in the melee and hit hard, but said he came away with no symptoms.

KIND WORDS: Danica Patrick was bummed after fading on the last lap of a historic Daytona 500.

Some kind words from owner Tony Stewart and race winner Jimmie Johnson picked up her spirits a little.

“To have somebody like Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson tell me that on some level I made good decisions out there at the very end was a really nice thing for them to say,” Patrick said.

“It makes me feel a little better. I still feel like I want to have a better plan in the future, but in that moment (they said) I had made some decisions, so it was appreciated.”

ANNETT OUT OF HOSPITAL: Michael Annett was released from a hospital Friday after surgery to repair a fractured and dislocated sternum.

His Richard Petty Motorsports team says the recovery process could take two months for the Nationwide Series driver.

Annett was injured in a crash in the series opener at Daytona on Saturday.


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