LONG POND, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s race weekend at Pocono. In the early hours of Friday morning, as soon as gates open, fans file through, peeking through the fencing at the garages lining the track.
There’s plenty to see. Richard Petty takes pictures with fans, the usual sights and sounds of crews readying for qualifying. The media, however, stood waiting outside garage 10, where the 88 Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr. sits.
Except there won’t be any seeing Dale Jr. this weekend. He’s still recovering from concussion-like symptoms. With one legend out, another steps in: Jeff Gordon.
“It’s surreal. I don’t know how to really describe it,” said Gordon, as he fills in for Earnhardt for the second straight week, “It’s something that you can’t plan for or anticipate.”
Last week the Brickyard got one more glimpse of Gordon, who had ended his racing career at the end of last season. But Pocono is a source of great success in Gordon’s career. His 6 wins are the most for any driver at the Tricky Triangle. If he were to win this weekend, he’d break his own record, and notch career win 94.
“I’ve fought through it the last few years I could fight longer if I had to. I’ll be here as long as they need me. And I say that, very loosely.”