DiBenedetto out of Cup race at Texas after Xfinity crash

Matt DiBenedetto (Getty Images)
Matt DiBenedetto (Getty Images)
Matt DiBenedetto (Getty Images)

Matt DiBenedetto will miss Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500. The BK Racing team announced Saturday night that the driver had not been cleared under NASCAR’s concussion protocol after a crash in Saturday’s Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge.

DiBenedetto had a solo crash on lap 129 of 200. He was initially treated and released from the infield care center.  Several hours later however, the team announced that DiBenedetto would be sitting out Sunday’s race and driver Jeffrey Earnhardt will serve as a substitute.

The driver later posted on social media that he felt fine, but was following NASCAR’s concussion protocol. “Hate I can’t drive tomorrow but I’m looking forward to Phoenix.” DiBenedetto tweeted.

NASCAR began its concussion protocol in 2014. It involves pre-season neurocognitive baseline testing as part of a comprehensive concussion prevention and management program for all of its national series drivers. Using this baseline test, doctors can compare that to post-concussion tests to assist them in both evaluating the effects of any injury and informing their decisions to return an athlete to competition.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is currently recovering from self-described “concussion-like” symptoms and will miss the rest of the 2016 season.