Earnhardt visits UPMC concussion expert
By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, 5:40 p.m.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's most popular driver, met with UPMC experts Tuesday about the concussion that has sidelined him for the past two Sprint Cup races.
Earnhardt's visit, which primarily was with concussion expert Micky Collins of UPMC, was arranged by Dr. Jerry Petty, who accompanied him to Pittsburgh. Petty consults with NASCAR and the Carolina Panthers. Petty chose to keep Earnhardt from racing last week in Charlotte and this week in Kansas after he developed two concussions in a span of six weeks.
“You can't layer concussions,” Earnhardt said last week. “It gets extremely dangerous.”
Petty said Earnhardt might resume racing next week at Martinsville if the driver can go four to five days without experiencing any headaches or concussion-like symptoms.
During Earnhardt's visit, he had lunch at the Steelers' practice complex on the South Side and met coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers' Twitter feed posted a picture of Earnhardt, identifying him as a “surprise lunch guest.”
Collins is the director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program that has diagnosed and evaluated athletes with concussions in virtually all sports. Collins and Dr. Mark Lovell developed the ImPACT baseline testing program that's used by NASCAR and numerous NFL, college and high school teams.
Earlier this year, Earnhardt snapped a 143-race winless streak that dated to 2008. Earnhardt, by the way, is an acknowledged Washington Redskins fan.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.