NASCAR: Tony Stewart tweets offer to have Jeff Gordon race at 2016 Mudsummer Classic

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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.

Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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