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    NASCAR working to find best way to assess concussions

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    USA TODAY Sports’ Brant James sits down with Darrell Waltrip.
    USA TODAY Sports

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray uttered words that make concussion experts cringe.

    “It’s a doctor’s opinion,” McMurray told reporters at Daytona 500 media day Wednesday. “I wish they would leave that up to us. Only you know how you feel.”

    McMurray held up one example of letting NASCAR drivers police themselves on concussions in star Dale Earnhardt Jr. The rub: Earnhardt raced three times after the wreck at Michigan International Speedway in June that was pinpointed as when he was concussed before he shut it down for the final 18 races of the 2016 Monster Energy Cup Series season.

    He’s also a multimillionaire who could have walked away from racing years ago, a luxury few in sponsor-covered fire suits who filed in to talk to reporters here have. And let’s not forget Earnhardt admitted to not reporting concussion-like symptoms during the 2002 and 2012 seasons as he continued to race. But after he missed two races in 2012, he began taking concussions more seriously, visiting with specialists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for Sports Medicine. And last season, before he was sidelined again, he said he would donate his brain to science to help further studies.

    “We like to sweep it all under the rug as drivers like we feel fine, nothing’s wrong,” Danica Patrick told reporters Wednesday.

    Patrick admitted she has sustained…

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