Jeff Gordon may have announced that 2015 will be his final full Sprint Cup season. But the four-time Cup champ also has said that he may possibly choose to compete in other series.
“I want to leave myself open, as well, to be able to get in a car,” Gordon said in a NASCAR teleconference on Thursday. “It doesn’t have to be a Cup car. It could be an [XFINITY] car. It could be a truck. It could be a prototype for Le Mans or the Rolex. It might not be any of those things – heck, I was just out in the desert driving buggies and I maybe want to do the Baja 1000.”
With that in mind, three-time Cup champ and Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart has tweeted an offer for Gordon to compete in the 2016 running of the Mudsummer Classic – which takes place at Eldora and has arguably become the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ signature event.
The ‘Norm’ that Stewart speaks of is veteran driver Norm Benning, who thrilled NASCAR fans in 2013 with his run into the Mudsummer Classic’s main event from the last chance qualifier.
Stewart ultimately bought Benning’s Eldora LCQ truck, which is seen getting a re-numbering to Gordon’s famous No. 24 in the photo above.
Still, we figure Gordon would have a new truck if he were to accept such an offer – which isn’t as crazy as it seems if you know of Gordon’s early career on dirt in sprint cars.
Gordon won back-to-back USAC titles in 1990 (Midget) and 1991 (Silver Crown); during that 1991 season, he also won at Eldora’s prestigious 4-Crown Nationals event in a midget. More recently, Gordon has competed at Eldora as part of its former all-star charity race, the Prelude to the Dream.
It also bears noting that Gordon has never competed in a Truck Series event. To check off that box in such a popular race – and with no pressure at all since his Cup days will be over – may be something that appeals to him.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.