Racing

NASCAR star Earnhardt cleared to race again after concussion

 (AP)

NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., who missed the final 18 races of last season because of a concussion, has been medically cleared to return next year.

Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday that Earnhardt will take part in the season-opening Daytona 500.

The 42-year-old driver completed 185 laps Wednesday at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. In addition to the on-track test, which was observed by NASCAR, the driver has logged more than 15 hours in a racing simulator during his recovery.