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.

Attention NASCAR teams: IMSA drivers available for Daytona!

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NASCAR will be making its debut on the Daytona International Speedway road course next month, and there’s a big fan who’d like to join the historic weekend.

This fan actually has impressive credentials, too — a few thousand laps around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

In 2014, the winning GTLM team in the sports car endurance classic included IMSA Porsche driver Nick Tandy, who rabidly has followed NASCAR for more than 30 years since growing up in England.

So why not try racing NASCAR? Especially because Tandy has the weekend of Aug. 14-16 free.

He’s not picky, either — offering up his services on Twitter (as well as those of Porsche teammate Earl Bamber) for an ARCA, Xfinity, trucks or Cup ride.

Tandy’s affinity for American stock-car racing runs deep.

His first trip to the World Center of Racing was as a fan attending the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. During Rolex testing in January, Tandy, 35, said he hadn’t missed a Cup race on TV in 15 years.

Among his favorite NASCAR drivers: the Earnhardts, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. When IMSA ran the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2014, Tandy stayed a few extra days at the Brickyard and bought Kyle Busch gear for himself and his children.

He briefly took the stage during a NASCAR weekend last October. After IMSA’s season finale at Road Atlanta, Tandy made a few demonstration laps and a burnout in his No. 911 Porsche before the Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

He also has some experience in stock cars, having raced Modified-type grass-roots series on England’s quarter-mile short tracks.

Couple that with a Daytona road course record that includes two consecutive podium class finishes (including last Saturday) and a sports car resume with 13 IMSA victories and an overall win in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans … and maybe a NASCAR team should take a look.

And Tandy isn’t the only IMSA driver who likely would be available.

Corvette driver Jordan Taylor, who won the 2017 Rolex 24 overall title with Jeff Gordon as a teammate (and the inspiration for his Rodney Sandstrom persona), also tweeted his availability for the weekend on the high banks.

Sports car veteran Andy Lally, a GTD driver with multiple class wins in the Rolex 24 as well as 38 Cup starts (he was the 2011 rookie of the season in NASCAR’s premier series), also hung out his shingle.

There also is AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth (who just won at Daytona last Saturday), the Englishman who teamed with Kyle Busch at the Rolex 24 in January and made an Xfinity start at Mid-Ohio last year with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Many sports car drivers (such as Taylor) already live in Florida, and many are hunkering down in the Sunshine State with IMSA returning to action at Daytona last week and Sebring International Raceway next week. Because of COVID-19-related travel concerns and restrictions, several IMSA stars who live outside the country are riding out the pandemic within a few hours of Daytona with nothing to do.

Why not a weekend at the World Center of Racing?

Over the years, scads of “road-course ringers” (including some Formula One veterans) have tried their hands in stock cars at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International.

How about considering the many sports car drivers who already have reached victory lane at Daytona by making a few right-hand turns, too?