Jeff Gordon will drive at Brickyard if Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn't back

10:11 a.m. EDT July 15, 2016

USA Today Sports’ Jeff Gluck looks ahead to the New Hampshire 301 and the story lines that fans should keep an eye on leading up to this weekend.

Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Doug Duchardt said Friday morning that if Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not cleared to return to the car for next weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon would fill the seat.

Earnhardt and his team announced via statement Thursday that he would miss this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway because of concussion-like symptoms.

Duchardt, who would not confirm whether Earnhardt has been diagnosed with a concussion, said Gordon, who retired last year and just finished his first stint with Fox Sports in the NASCAR booth, would take over the No. 88 if needed that weekend. Duchardt would not speculate if Gordon would stay in the car if Earnhardt remains sidelined for more races.

Duchardt said a decision probably would have to be made by Wednesday, to give…

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