"To say I'm disappointed doesn't begin to describe how I feel, but I know this is the right thing for my long-term health and career," Earnhardt said in a statement. Hendrick Motorsport owner Rick Hendrick is just as focused on Earnhadt's health, saying, "We want him back, but we want it to be for the long haul."
The No. 88 car will be driven by Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman for the remainder of the 2016 Sprint Cup season. "We know they're not only capable of running up front and giving us a chance to win, but they'll help us get better," said Earnhardt. This weekend, Gordon will race for Hendrick Motorsport at Darlington Raceway.