Jeff Gordon Potentially Returning to Racing at Indianapolis as Substituteby Kyle Pokrefky July 15, 2016
Jeff Gordon’s retirement from competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series may be put on hold at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week should Dale Earnhardt Jr. fail to be cleared to compete in next Sunday’s Brickyard 400.
Gordon, a four-time Sprint Cup champion, had has name put forward by Hendrick Motorsports’s general manager, Doug Duchardt, as the Indianapolis substitute for the sidelined Earnhardt Jr. during a media availability at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday morning.
“… As far as Jeff Gordon’s situation, certainly he’s a four-time champion with 93 wins, he’s not a bad person to think about to put in the car,” Duchardt said. “This week he’s in France. And obviously the way the week went, we didn’t even think we were going to need a replacement driver. We just thought we were going to need a backup driver.
“However, if Dale is not able to go to Indianapolis, we will put Jeff Gordon in the car.”
Earnhardt Jr. is sitting out of this weekend’s New Hampshire 301 race weekend due to experiencing concussion-like symptoms with Alex Bowman substituting in the No. 88 Chevrolet.
Gordon has served as a color commentator for FOX Sports since the beginning of the 2016 season following his retirement from active competition last November.
If he were to return next weekend, he will make his 798th career start in Sprint Cup and his 23rd at Indianapolis.
In 22 previous starts at the track, the Pittsboro, Ind. native has five wins (), 12 top-fives and 17th top-10 finishes.
A decision regarding the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for the Indianapolis weekend is expected early next week.
Photo Credit: Bob Leverone/NASCAR via Getty Images