Earnhardt was accompanied by neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty, the doctor who would not clear Earnhardt to race last week because of two concussions suffered over the past 6 weeks. Earnhardt did not seek treatment for the first one, suffered in an Aug. 29 crash at a tire test at Kansas. He went to see Petty last week because of a lingering headache following a 25-car crash in the Oct. 7 race at Talladega.
Earnhardt missed Saturday night's race at Charlotte, and will miss this weekend's race at Kansas, too. The injury snapped his streak of 461 consecutive starts, which was the fifth-longest active streak in the Sprint Cup Series.
Petty said last week that Earnhardt could not be cleared to race again until he's gone at least 4 days headache-free, then goes through testing.
In other auto racing news:
* NASCAR announced competition changes for 2013 that include the elimination of the top 35 qualifying rule and a reduced field size in the Nationwide Series. Starting next season, the top 35 cars in owners' points will no longer be guaranteed a spot in the Sprint Cup field. NASCAR will use a 36-6-1 format in which the fastest 36 cars make the race on speed. The next six highest ranking cars in owners points not already qualified then earn a starting spot, followed by the most recent eligible past champion driver.
Philly File *
The Soul will hold an open tryout on Saturday at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia. Cost is $60 ahead of time, $80 at the door. Registration is at 8 a.m. Players should dress in workout attire and metal cleats are not permitted. Kickers will not be worked out at this tryout. See PhiladelphiaSoul.com for more details.
Sport Stops *
Spain's record of 24 straight qualifying wins ended when France substitute Olivier Giroud scored in the final move of the match in Madrid for a 1-1 draw in the campaign to reach the 2014 World Cup.
* The IOC will wait for cycling's governing body to act on Lance Armstrong's doping case before it considers taking away his Olympic bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games. IOC vice president Thomas Bach said the IOC will wait for the International Cycling Union, or UCI, to determine whether Armstrong should have been banned before the Sydney Olympics.
* Two University of Tennessee athletic department workers and one former employee are suing the university for discrimination and retaliation. The suit was filed by associate director of sports medicine for women's basketball Jenny Moshak, associate strength and conditioning coach Heather Mason and former associate strength and conditioning coach Collin Schlosser.