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Earnhardt Talks Of Fear Concussions Caused

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Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26, 2012 in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, VA (AP) – Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he hates the attention his concussions and nearly three-week departure from NASCAR caused, but he “learned a ton” and is glad he took the steps he did to make sure he is OK to race.

NASCAR’s most popular driver is returning to the track at Martinsville Speedway this weekend.

He missed races at Charlotte and Kansas after a crash at Talladega, Ala., on Oct. 7. A trip to the doctor revealed the concussions that Earnhardt says left his head fuzzy and mind swimming with anxiety.

He says he was “really mentally a mess” until he went to see a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh and spent about 12 hours talking and doing testing.

He says he’s fine now and felt “foolish” watching races while feeling normal.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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