A whole lot, apparently, when it comes to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon, the sign above the garage stall of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend, and what may happen on pit road during Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Gordon, who retired as a full-time Sprint Cup driver at the end of last season, is subbing for Earnhardt as driver of the No. 88 in this Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard. But after a sign — a giant sticker, really — had initially been posted with Gordon’s name and the No. 88 on it over the stall, Earnhardt’s team instructed track officials to take it down, with Gordon’s blessing, and replace it with one carrying Earnhardt’s name.
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Their message was clear: even though Earnhardt sat out last weekend at New Hampshire, is out again this weekend, and already has been ruled out for next Sunday at Pocono Raceway, this is still Earnhardt’s team.
Gordon, who also is slated to drive for Earnhardt at Pocono, is well aware.
But now Gordon has something else to worry about. After driving the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy for his entire career in NASCAR’s top series, he already said during a news conference Friday morning at Indy that he’s concerned about going to the wrong stall on pit road during Sunday’s race.
"The biggest thing is going to be the No. 88 stall, not the No. 24 stall," said Gordon, laughing. "Twenty-three years I went to that No. 24 stall. We have already talked about the processes of assuring that doesn’t happen."
No. 88 crew asks @IMS to put @DaleJr's name back above their garage stall.