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Dale Earnhardt Jr.: ‘All signs point to us being in the car at Daytona’

After missing the entire second half of the season while recovering from a concussion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. discusses his offseason plans, which includes testing, and timetable to return to a race car.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was emphatic on his podcast, “The Dale Jr. Download” that he’ll be in the No. 88 car for the season-opening Daytona 500.

Car owner Rick Hendrick said last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway that Earnhardt was close to being cleared to get back into a car.

Earnhardt has not raced since the July 9 event at Kentucky Speedway because of a concussion. He has said before that the plan was to be back in time for the start of the 2017 season. He reaffirmed that again this week on his podcast.

“All signs point to us being in the car at Daytona,’' Earnhardt said. “I don’t know if anybody had any doubt out there. If you did, looks like everything is going in a great direction for that to happen. There’s a couple of small boxes to check, and we’ll let everybody know how that goes but looking forward to a very important offseason for me personally, and I’ll certainly keep everybody plugged in what’s going on.’'

Earnhardt also will be married in the offseason.

Once cleared by doctors, Earnhardt plans to get back in a car and test but said he would have to work that around his wedding and honeymoon.