Jeff Gordon finished 13th in Sunday’s Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at The Brickyard, filling in for an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch took the win, marking the second consecutive time the Toyota driver has won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ visit to the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Busch started from pole and led 149 of 170 laps on his way to the win. The result completed a weekend sweep at IMS for the reigning series champ after he won Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Lilly Diabetes 250 event at the track. Busch also swept the weekend in 2015.
Gordon started mid-pack Sunday after qualifying 21st. He turned in a respectable performance in his first race since November 2015, but admitted he “got his butt kicked,” on restarts. The big talking point from Gordon’s return, however, was when he and Tony Stewart shared a slow, tandem lap post-race and waved to the fans at IMS. Stewart will also retire from Sprint Cup Series racing at the end of 2016.
“I knew when we got the checkered you didn’t want to come in just yet,” said Stewart. “I wanted to run one more lap and Jeff was around us.”
“Before that last green run, I told my spotter to go get his spotter and said, ‘After this thing is over, we need to go a lap around here together,’ because it most likely is the last time we’ll both get a chance to do that. So, I couldn’t think of a better guy to share that moment with than Jeff.”
Stewart started third after a solid qualifying session Thursday but finished outside the top ten in 11th. The highest finishing Chevrolet driver was Jimmie Johnson in third, followed by Kyle Larson in fifth and Kevin Harvick in sixth.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway next for the Pennsylvania 400 on July 31st. Click here for full results from Indianapolis and here for a full schedule of next weekend’s NASCAR festivities.