DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. is confident NASCAR took the right step Friday by beefing up its concussion protocol, adding a consistent screening rule at all venues.

“Good to see progress being made and implemented. Health and safety is top priority,” Earnhardt tweeted.

Earnhardt, long NASCAR’s most popular driver, was sidelined for the second half of last season with a concussion. Earnhardt missed the final 18 races with nausea, vision and balance issues after at least the fifth concussion of his career following a June wreck.

In the 16 years since his father’s death at Daytona, NASCAR has introduced a series of measures designed to keep drivers safe, from helmet and restraint systems to impact-absorbing SAFER barriers along concrete walls.

NASCAR made baseline concussion tests mandatory for all drivers in 2014, but expanded the protocol this year just nine days before the Daytona 500 with a consistent screening tool and additional neurological support in the hope of keeping drivers healthier.

KURT BUSCH is being sued for nearly $1.5 million by his former sports management company after he terminated his relationship with the agency last March.

A federal lawsuit filed this month in Michigan by the Sports Management Network claims that Busch owes $930,000 under the terms of an agreement dating to 2012. SMN is also seeking $540,000 for the 2018 season.

GREG BIFFLE won’t race full time this season. He has accepted a recurring role as a guest analyst on Fox Sports’ “NASCAR America” show.