Gor­don read­ies for the Brick­yard

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MICHAEL MAROT

In­di­anapo­lis and Po­cono may not be the only stops on Jeff Gor­don’s come­back tour.

The four-time Cup cham­pion, who is com­ing out of re­tire­ment to fill in for the in­jured Dale Earn­hardt Jr. the next two races, kept the door open to run­ning more if Earn­hardt doesn’t re­turn from con­cus­sion-like symp­toms.

Gor­don is ex­pected to make his sea­son de­but in Sun­day’s Brick­yard 400. Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports has al­ready an­nounced Gor­don will re­place Earn­hardt next week­end at Po­cono, too.

Earn­hardt used a Twit­ter post on Fri­day to tell fans he was fi­nally start­ing to feel bet­ter, writ­ing: “To­day is the 1st day in many that I sensed im­prove­ment. Seen small gains dur­ing my phys­i­cal ther­apy as well. Light at the end of the tun­nel.”

But if NASCAR’s most pop­u­lar driver misses more time, Gor­don ap­pears to be ready and will­ing to keep rac­ing.

“Let’s not spec­u­late right now,” Gor­don said Fri­day af­ter ar­riv­ing at Indy’s 2.5-mile oval. “I’ll do what­ever I need to, but I’ll also do what­ever the team needs to get the most points.”

Earn­hardt missed two races in 2012 with con­cus­sions and took him­self out of the car last week­end at New Hamp­shire be­cause he was strug­gling with his bal­ance. Gor­don had not spo­ken pub­licly since Hen­drick made the an­nounce­ment Wed­nes­day that Earn­hardt needed more time to re­cover.

Gor­don spent 23 years driv­ing the No. 24 car to 93 ca­reer wins for team owner Rick Hen­drick, in­clud­ing a record five times at In­di­anapo­lis.

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