Chevy Racecar Driver Jeff Gordon Finishes 13th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
When Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced that he would be sitting out a handful of races due to concussion-like symptoms, that opened the door for retired driver Jeff Gordon to return to NASCAR in order to compete one final time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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Gordon drove the No. 88 Chevrolet SS racecar, which is usually driven by Earnhardt, to a 13th-place finish in the Brickyard 400. It was Gordon’s first NASCAR race since last year’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gordon started the race in 21st, but was never in contention for the win because defending NASCAR champion Kyle Busch dominated Sunday’s race, leading 149 of 170 laps.
Gordon has committed to driving the No. 88 Chevy again at Pocono, but hasn’t announced if he’ll drive in any more races after that. Gordon is driving the No. 88 because Earnhardt Jr. was a longtime teammate of his at Hendrick Motorsports. In addition, Earnhardt recently announced he is finally seeing progress in his recovery, but he’ll have to be cleared by a NASCAR approved neurologist or neurosurgeon before he’s allowed back in his Chevy.
The most memorable event that happened in Sunday’s race might have actually occurred after the race was over. Gordon and fellow Team Chevy driver Tony Stewart drove side-by-side in ceremonial lap after the checkered flag had waved. Gordon, a four-time NASCAR champion, retired from full-time driving in 2015 and Stewart, a three-time NASCAR champion, will retire at the end of this season.
“For us to share that moment together, I mean that’s probably our last lap around here in a professional race, and I’ll cherish that moment,” Stewart said after the race. “It’s something that doesn’t happen very often.”
NASCAR fans can watch both Stewart and Gordon compete again on July 31st when they’ll be making left turns at Pocono Raceway.
Video: Watch Gordon and Stewart’s Ceremonial Lap
News Source: ESPN