Next Stop Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 at The Brickyard, the twentieth round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season. All eyes will be on the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 which will be driven by Jeff Gordon, who comes out of retirement to fill in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. who is still dealing with concussion symptoms that forced him to sit out last week at New Hampshire. Sunday will also mark the last start at the Indiana track for Columbus, Indiana native Tony Stewart, who will retire at the end of the season. Stewart is a two-time winner at the speedway and is coming off back to back top-five finishes the last two weeks. The new driver of the No. 24 car, rookie Chase Elliott will look to rebound after three finishes outside the top thirty at a track that saw the No. 24 go to victory lane five times.
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A number of NASCAR Sprint Cup teams took part in a two-day organizational test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. The test was in advance of the Crown Royal presents the Wounded Warrior Coalition 400 to be held on July 24. Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, and Kevin Harvick were among those at the test that were consistently fast in each of the sessions. Two sessions were held on Tuesday, with teams working through the lunch break Wednesday due to a threat of weather in the area. Matt Kenseth who was second quickest in the opening session on Tuesday noted that the tire fall off was significant with the new lower downforce package being used this season and expected that fall off to translate to good racing. Others taking part in the test included Paul Menard, Joey Logano, Brian Scott, Chris Buescher, Trevor Bayne, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. AJ Allmendinger and his No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team were originally scheduled to attend the test, but following two incidents on Saturday night in Kentucky that injured Allmendinger’s hand, the team passed on attending the test. Allmendinger has been cleared to return to NASCAR competition following an X-ray on Monday.
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