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.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”