Jeff Gordon may stand in for an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt has revealed.
Earnhardt will sit out this weekend’s New Hampshire 301 after experiencing concussion like symptoms over the last couple of weeks. Alex Bowman will drive the No. 88 Chevrolet SS in his place, but if Earnhardt is still unwell for Indy later this month, Hendrick may tap four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ Gordon to drive.
“(Gordon’s) a four-time champion and has 93 wins — he’s not a bad person to put in the car, but this week he’s in France,” Duchardt said. “The way the week played out, we thought we only needed a backup driver. If Dale is not able to go at Indianapolis, we will put Jeff Gordon in the car. When Dale is ready, that’s his car to get back into.”
Duchardt alluded to the possibility of Gordon piloting the No. 88 for more than one race if Earnhardt’s condition doesn’t improve by that time, but said he doesn’t want to speculate beyond the Brickyard.
“I really don’t want to speculate past Indy,” he said. “I think we just want to take it one race at a time here. I think putting any speculation past that is assuming that Dale is not going to be ready for that amount of time. We will obviously be thinking about contingency plans, but we don’t have anything formalized for sure past Indy.”
The New Hampshire 301 will kick off on Sunday, July 17th at 1:30 p.m. Click here for a full schedule of this weekend’s NASCAR’s festivities.