The Brickyard 400 is back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend and the 23rd running of this race will be a memorable for racers and fans.
Most notably is that of the No. 88 car. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has not recovered from his concussion-like symptoms, so Jeff Gordon is taking the wheel for Sunday’s race. Earnhardt was replaced by Alex Bowman in last week’s New Hampshire race. Although there is no time table yet for his return, Earnhardt is sensing some improvement in his condition.
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.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) July 22, 2016
Gordon dove the famed No. 24 car for twenty-three years, this is the first time that he will be in a race not driving that car. Gordon has had success at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; he is a five-time Brickyard 400 champion. The last time Gordon won at the Brickyard 400 was two years ago in 2014.
— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) July 22, 2016
For Indiana native Tony Stewart, this will be his last Brickyard 400. Stewart finished second last week in New Hampshire, but has also had a few wins in Indianapolis. Stewart is a two-time winner at the Brickyard 400, most recently in 2007.
Last year’s winner Kyle Busch is looking for a repeat year, but there is always room for a new champion. In the 22 times the Brickyard 400 has been raced, there have been only 13 different winners. Since 2010, there have been four first time winners: Jamie McMurray (’10), Paul Menard (’11), Ryan Newman (’13) and Kyle Busch (’15). Race time is set for 3:19 on Sunday.