Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered a concussion in Sunday's 25-car pileup on the final lap at Talladega and will sit out at least the next two weeks.
Hendrick Motorsports tabbed Regan Smith to replace Earnhardt in the No. 88 Chevrolet. Smith had been set to drive the No. 51 for Phoenix Racing in Saturday night's NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and South Bay native AJ Allmendinger will now drive that car in his first start since his July 7 suspension for failing a random drug test.
"I feel normal," Earnhardt said Thursday. "But I've had two concussions in the last (six) weeks, and you can't layer concussions. It gets extremely dangerous."
He also suffered a concussion in an Aug. 29 wreck during a tire test at Kansas.
His streak of 461 straight Sprint Cup starts will end Saturday, and the race will be the first without an Earnhardt in 33 years.
Allmendinger, who was let go by Penskie Racing, completed NASCAR's "Road to Recovery" program and was reinstated him last month.
"I'm a little nervous," Allmendinger said.
Greg Biffle won the pole position Thursday night with a lap of 193.708 mph. Smith qualified 26th, and Allmendinger was 38th.
Justin Rose beat Tiger Woods by a stroke to set up a title match with Lee Westwood in the World Golf Final in Belek, Turkey. The European Ryder Cup teammates will meet Saturday, with the winner getting $1.5 million in the
Rashard Ross returned the second-half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to break open a close game, Taylor Kelly threw three scoring passes to tailback Marion Grice, and visiting Arizona State (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) posted a 51-17 victory over Colorado (1-5, 1-2).
NHL and players' association representatives met for four hours in New York on the day the regular season had been scheduled to begin, but there was no major breakthrough in negotiations to end the lockout. Last week, the league canceled regular-season games through Oct. 24.