Jeff Gordon to serve as NASCAR TV analyst this season

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He said he’d entertain it – and now he’s gonna do it.

Following a first report from Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer, MotorSportsTalk has confirmed that four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will enter the broadcast booth this season as part of a rotation of driver analysts for Fox Sports’ coverage of NASCAR XFINITY Series events.

During a SiriusXM NASCAR Radio interview last week, Gordon – who will end his full-time Cup career at the conclusion of the 2015 season – indicated that he would be open to entering the television side of the sport.

“I love the sport,” Gordon said. “I’m very passionate about it. I love to critique it. I think I could do a good job with that. I don’t think it’s an easy job.

“I’ll be honest. I have a lot of respect for those that do it from radio and TV. I’d entertain it.”

Brad Keselowski and reigning Cup champion Kevin Harvick – both former NXS champions – will also be part of Fox’s planned analyst rotation for its coverage of that series.

The rotation will join regulars Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip in Fox’s NXS booth, while Vince Welch will lead its NXS pit road team that includes Jamie Little, Chris Neville, and Matt Yocum.

Those latter three will also serve as Fox’s pit road team on the Cup side, supporting the Cup booth trio of Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip. Chris Myers and the Waltrip brothers’ duties on the pre-race show remain as well.

For Fox’s Camping World Truck Series coverage, Alexander, Joy, and Brian Till will fill in on play-by-play until regular series announcer Steve Byrnes returns from medical absence due to his ongoing battle against cancer. Joy will call the Trucks’ season opener at Daytona.

Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip are back as Truck Series analysts, and pit road reporting is led by Hermie Sadler, with Welch, Yocum, and Kaitlyn Vincie in supporting roles there.

An IndyCar iRacing Challenge at Talladega? Drivers have discussed it

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If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is interested in an IndyCar iRacing event on an oval, he might like the latest idea being kicked around by NTT Series drivers.

“I personally would want to run at Talladega, but I don’t think that’s an option,” Arrow McLaren SP driver rookie Oliver Askew told NBCSports.com in a Friday interview about his simulation work for the second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “IndyCar drivers have a group chat with iRacing, and someone had the idea of running at Talladega, and I thought it was brilliant.”

It actually would be a throwback of sorts as a USAC-sanctioned race with Indy cars at Talladega nearly happened 40 years ago.

The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will be running its second consecutive road course Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or streaming here).

Of the four remaining races in the six-race series, there’s a chance that three of them could be ovals: A Drivers’ Choice track April 11; a “Random Draw” April 18 and a non-IndyCar “Dream” track May 2 (the April 25 race will be at Circuit of the Americas).

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IndyCar drivers are voting on next week’s track, and the options include high-speed ovals such as Texas Motor Speedway and Michigan Speedway.

A multicar crash at Talladega last October. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Talladega apparently isn’t on the list for next week, but surely it could be considered for a future race if it meant having Earnhardt in the field. The 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver is a six-time winner at Talladega, and the NASCAR on NBC analyst’s family is synonymous with the 2.66-mile oval where his late seven-time champion father won a record 10 times.

“I hope he can make that happen,” Askew said of racing against Earnhardt. “I hope IndyCar can grant his wish on that.”

The addition of Earnhardt would fit well with an IndyCar iRacing Challenge that already features champions from NASCAR (Jimmie Johnson) and Supercars (Scott McLaughlin).

Will Power would like to see more of that.

“I think that would be great if we can get big-name drivers from other series,” Power said. “Getting a couple guys from Europe would be cool.”