Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt expects medical clearance in December to race

Dale Earnhardt Jr. should be medically cleared from his concussion in December and ready to race in the 2017 Daytona 500.

Team owner Rick Hendrick said Earnhardt recently sent a text that said he was just waiting for Daytona to return to the track. Earnhardt has not raced since July 9. The Daytona 500 opens the NASCAR season on Feb. 26.

"He feels great. Everything's on track," Hendrick said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "Every step that we need to go through, we've gone through. I don't see anything holding us back."

Hendrick said Earnhardt's absence has not affected sponsorship for 2017. Alex Bowman and four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon...