Jeff Gordon is not done racing just yet.
Hendrick Motorsports made it official on Wednesday, announcing that the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion will substitute for Dale Earnhardt Jr for the next two race weekends at Indianapolis and-and Pocono. Dale Jr has not been cleared by doctors to compete in the Sprint Cup Series after experiencing concussion-like symptoms, including nausea and dizziness.
Gordon is third on the all-time wins list with 93 victories. Five of those came at the Brickyard, and six came at Pocono, which are both records. His last Sprint Cup Series start came at the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami.
The announcement came last Friday that if Dale Jr. was not cleared to race, Gordon would replace him.
“Jeff is a team player,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “I know he’ll be ready, and I know Dale has incredible trust in him. It is going to be an emotional weekend at Indianapolis.”
Indianapolis will be the second consecutive week that Earnhardt has missed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The last time Earnhardt was not able to compete due to a concussion or concussion-like symptoms was in 2012.
On Tuesday, Earnhardt went under more evaluation and explained what he’s going through on his podcast.
“The symptoms I have are dealing with balance and nausea. I put my health and quality of life as a top priority. And I’ll always do that. So I’m going to take this slow and strictly follow the advice of my doctors, and try to learn as much as I can to be smarter and wiser. It’s always been a real experience going through this kind of stuff because you learn so much through the experience. I’ve got some great doctors to learn from.”
Earnhardt does expect to get back into the car at some point, but there is no set timetable for his return to competition.
Emily Spink is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist.
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