LOUDON, N.H. – Don’t put anything past Jeff Gordon.
That advice comes from someone who ought to know, Gordon’s former teammate and six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.
Gordon will be pressed into service next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway if Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s concussion-like symptoms persist past this Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN), where Alex Bowman is driving the No. 88 Chevrolet in Earnhardt’s absence.
Even though Gordon raced for the last time in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson doesn’t think a victory at Indy is out of the question for the four-time series champion and record five-time winner at the Brickyard.
“I’ve learned to never underestimate that man, without a doubt,” Johnson told the NASCAR Wire Service. “And it’s Indy, a place that he loves dearly. He’s the most winning driver there.
“I’m sure it will take a few laps to knock the rust off and get going, but there’s enough on-track time and the race is long enough that he’ll have a shot.”
After broadcasting the final race on FOX Sports’ portion of the Sprint Cup schedule, Gordon went out of the country on vacation, prompting a quip from Johnson, whose No. 48 Chevrolet is co-owned by Gordon.
“I think he’s in the south of France drinking Rose – we need to sober him up and get him back,” Johnson joked. “The posts I’ve seen from him and his wife, they’re having a big time over there.
“We need to send some Gatorade over there and get him hydrated and get him back for Indy.”