Dale Earnhardt Jr. obviously is making an impact when it comes to raising awareness about head injuries.
"Jeff's a four-time champion with93 wins -not a bad person to consider putting in the car,"Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Doug Duchardt said Friday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway". In addition to updating Earnhardt's current status, they stated that Gordon will sub for Earnhardt if he is unable to race the following week at the Brickyard. We just thought we were going to need a backup driver.
"If Dale is not able to go at Indianapolis, we will put Jeff Gordon in the auto".
When Dale is ready, thats his vehicle to get back into, he said. Earnhardt Jr. was evaluated this week in Charlotte, N.C., and today was not cleared the to drive in Sunday's New Hampshire 301. I saw a family doctor and was given medication for allergies and a sinus infection.
Although much attention has been placed on Earnhardt's recent wrecks at MI and Daytona, Duchardt said HMS had no indication Earnhardt suffered any problems in those incidents and there were no visible signs from the driver himself. The most important thing is for this process to play out and for him to feel better. "We didn't know of anything until he started talking to Greg (Ives, crew chief) about not feeling quite right in Kentucky", he said.
"My understanding was, Dale was told that he shouldn't race", Duchardt said. His eligibility for one of the 16 positions in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup upon his return, should he be in position to qualify for a spot, would be determined by NASCAR.
Gordon retired from driving at the end of the 2015 season after a decorated 23-year career that produced four Cup championships and 93 Cup victories (third on the all-time list behind Richard Petty and David Pearson).
If Earnhardt isn't cleared to race in time for the upcoming Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis, Gordon - a five-time victor of the race - is expected to take over Earnhardt's Hendrick Motorsports Chevy for the July 24 race.
"Speculating past [Indianapolis] is assuming Dale won't be ready for that amount of time", he said.
Of course, despite retiring past year, Gordon is a prime choice as a replacement driver. "I'm working with some great doctors to get well", Earnhardt tweeted.