Johnson says victory at Indy for Gordon is possible

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2016 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2016 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2016 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Getty Images)

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.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.