Jul 16, 2016; Loudon, NH, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (88) drives through the garage area during practice for the New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Bowman is driving in place of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Memorable Brickyard 400 Set for Sunday

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.

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.

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.

About Michelle Spring

Senior telecommunication and history major at the University of Florida and contributor for ESPN Gainesville 95.3. Baseball and hockey are my favorites, but I love all sports.

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