INDIANAPOLIS -- Jeff Gordon stepping into the No. 88 car. What a strange sight.Gordon is No. 24 through and through. But not this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Not next weekend at Pocono Raceway.Hes No. 88 for the next two weeks. And no matter the car, he brings a winning pedigree with 93 career Sprint Cup wins and four championships, including five wins at the Brickyard heading into the race Sunday afternoon.Gordon said his goals have never changed -- get the most out of himself and the team. Which raises the question: Can he win in a substitute role despite not being in the car for eight months?It was important the first time out to find the edge and the grip level and the speed right away, which we did, Gordon said. If we can get the balance right in practice, I feel good about the race.Whats my goal? Ive always said I want to get the most out of the car, the most out of myself and the most the team can produce. I dont know what that is. Is that a win? Is that a fifth? Is that a 15th?With Dale Earnhardt Jr. out for a second consecutive week battling balance issues and nausea believed to be from concussions, Gordon will at least be in familiar colors -- his longtime sponsor Axalta is the sponsor of the car. So it looks normal. But then there is that big 88 on the side of Gordons car.That looks strange, but the 39 drivers with far more experience this year in the 2016 aerodynamic package will have the biggest influence on Gordons success.These guys are the best there is, Gordon said. This is an intense sport. You dont step out for eight months and just step back in and its easy. This stuff is not easy.Gordon was ninth in the first practice, 25th in final practice.The first lap was good, Gordon said. It was one of the bigger challenges Ive had as a race-car driver to come here without knowing the car and not being [on] ... any track all year long.That one got my attention, that first run.Gordon has earned everyones attention as he makes the unexpected return, but it also has folks at Hendrick Motorsports stoked. The organization has struggled recently, and it feels having Gordon in the car can provide a somewhat outsider perspective from someone who still works there.I dont think theres any risk -- he had a great career and no matter what he does, he could run last on Sunday and its not going to change that, says his former crew chief Ray Evernham, now a consultant at Hendrick.But Im sure hes not going to run last. ... At this place, nobody has got a better record here than him. He still keeps himself in great shape.Evernham -- as everyone has at Hendrick Motorsports -- stressed that he is sad Earnhardt cant race. But having Gordon in the car seemed to make the most sense.Im really kind of glad Jeff is here this weekend, Evernham said. Its a way to rally around a bad situation.Chase Elliott?said he felt the same way. He replaced Gordon in the No. 24 car, and now he gets to race against him at least two more times.Its going to be neat, Elliott said. It will be a little different for everybody. But Im definitely happy to have Jeff on the team this weekend.The one thing Elliott has to worry about? Seeing Gordon in his pit as Gordon might want to drive into the pit with the No. 24 board. It wouldnt be surprising if Gordon uses a pit board with the Axalta logo.You cant plan, Gordon said. You dont know how you are going to react to it. To me, once I get behind the wheel and Im inside the car, I dont know what is on the outside of that car. Its a race car and Im going to be focused on driving, not focused on anything else.But when Im standing outside of it and Im looking at the No. 88 car and Dale Earnhardt Jr.s name over the door ... it is certainly a unique situation that I dont know how that is going to impact me.His biggest challenge will be working with a new group of guys, including Earnhardt crew chief Greg Ives and spotter TJ Majors.Drivers have won races with interim crew chiefs. But this challenge will be different for Gordon, said his teammate Jimmie Johnson.He is going to be fast, and competitive, Johnson said. But to really find that last little bit, I think is more in relationships and building those relationships in a hurry. ... He has been away from this side of the garage area. Hes been out of the race car.He doesnt know these crew guys. And as we all know, the relationships that exist between driver, crew chief and engineer is really where the speed lies. CHeap MLB Jerseys For Sale .5 seconds to play in the game, Kevin Love never stopped believing that they would come out of there with a win. Wholesale MLB Jerseys China . PAUL, Minn. http://www.cheapmlbjerseysbywholesale.com/ . The (11-11-4) Jets are seventh in the Central Division with 26 points. Fifth place Dallas and sixth-seeded Nashville also have 26 points, but the Stars have three games in hand on Winnipeg while Nashville has two. Nike MLB Jerseys China . There was no hesitation from the 40th-ranked Pospisil, from Vernon, B.C., who admitted that he cut back on his training sessions over the last few days to conserve energy as the long ATP season finishes next week at the Paris Masters. Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale . World champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia won the gold medal with 237.71 points, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch followed at 208.45 and Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia were third at 187. Did everyone enjoy their NASCAR-off weekend? Yes? Great. (This is part where all of the Xfinity teams who are still draining the rainwater out of their roll cages are saying, What off weekend, jerk?)I spent my two days off already dreaming of two days on that are still three weeks away from now: the Southern 500 and second annual Darlington Raceway Throwback weekend. This years throwback theme focuses on the era of 1975-84, that crucible of a decade in time that dared to mix old-school vets including?Richard Petty and David Pearson with brash youngsters such as Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip.Last years event was brilliant. The best part of it all was the long line of throwback paint schemes being used by todays stars. The guys who inexplicably chose not to participate (Im looking at you,?Jeff Gordon) ended up feeling like that one dude who thought he was too cool to wear a tux to prom and wound up looking like the kitchen help.One year ago, I wrote a piece offering up some last-minute suggestions for any teams wanting to throw their old trucker hats into the oval, pointing out throwback paint schemes we wouldnt see at Darlington but I thought we should.This year, because Im a good guy, Im doing it again. So, race teams, take notes and grab a bucket of paint. Theres still time to get on board. You can thank me at the racetrack over Labor Day weekend. Ill be the dude dressed like Chris Economaki.10. Jamie McMurray in the No. 1 UNO ChevyUNO-sponsored cars ran the gamut for General Motors, from Oldsmobiles to Buicks to Chevys. They were owned by Hoss Ellington and driven by the likes of Buddy Baker, Lake Speed, Tim Richmond and Kyle Petty. Yes, this is the card game UNO. I mean, really, does it get more early 1980s than playing a game of UNO? No! So get this paint scheme off the Discard pile!9. Or ... Jamie McMurray in the No. 1 Hawaiian Tropic ChevyIf family card games arent your thing, then we could go with Ellingtons more famous sponsor: Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotions. Even if this car doesnt run the Southern 500, a team could still paint one up and then have Terry Bradshaw drive it into a motel swimming pool. Thats ... thats ... thats ... p-p-p-p-perfect.8. Matt DiBenedetto in the No. 82 Cougar Coal ToyotaOK, I know BK Racing runs No.83, but it will be the closest on the Darlington entry list to 82. OK, I have zero recollection of the paint scheme that Ferrell Harris used on his Dodge back in 1975-80. And OK, I dont even remember Ferrell Harris. But I have this picture in my mind of the prerace grid and photographers snapping shots of the Cougar Coal car surrounded by a dozen lascivious 40-something women holding chunks of coal in one hand and inappropriately squeezing 25-year-old DiBenedetto with the other.7. Chris Buescher in the No. 72 Kings Row Fireplace FordWhy this pairing? Because of the joint Front Row Motorsports/Roush Fenway Racing all-hands-on-deck repair efforts at Watkins Glen, all to get back out and snatch up only a few points toward making the Chase. It reminded me so much of the multiteam scramble to get Benny Parsons destroyed ride back out onto the track at the 1972 season finale at Rockingham.dddddddddddd. Their efforts won BP and his low-budget DeWitt Racing team the Winston Cup title over big-money headliner Cale Yarborough.6. Jimmie Johnson in the No. 49 Brewster Baker ChevyYeah, yeah, I know Johnson has already unveiled his Darlington ride, a tribute to Dale Earnhardts 1979 rookie of the year ride with Rod Osterlund. But its no secret that Johnson loves the 1982 movie Six Pack. Plus, the fitness nut has an actual six pack. Plus, he has also been known to drink an entire six pack. Plus, he owns a six pack of Cup titles, even using #SixPack as a hashtag during his chase for that sixth championship. Plus, he can grow a full beard in like four days -- so as to pay full tribute to Kenny Rogers. Maybe we can coax Diane Lane out to the track? Please?5. Kyle Larson in the No. 42 7-Eleven ChevyKyle Petty ran with the 7-Eleven colors in the mid-1980s. If Im being totally honest with you, this is just a shameless ploy to get Larson to wear that awesome Kyle Petty afro wig he had on with the Mello Yello car last year.4. Matt Kenseth in the Dave Marcis TributeKenseth will unveil his retro Darlington scheme on Tuesday, but why not pay tribute to his fellow Wisconsinite? Marcis was a Cup Series title contender in the mid-1970s but by 1984 was on his way to becoming The Last of the Independents. During one of NASCARs longest careers, he ran a countless number of sponsors on the hood, including a whopping 35 between 1975-84. But he started that era in the orangest car of all time: the K&K Insurance machine of Nord Krauskopf. So, combine his two biggest backers of that era by painting the car really, really orange and then slapping a Shoneys Big Boy on the hood. And hey Matty, dont forget to wear the wingtip shoes.3. The Chaw SpecialWe could fill an entire starting grid with the paint schemes of chewing tobacco sponsors, but instead, just run them all on one car as if it were a brown juice-stained quilt. The Chattanooga Chew/Copenhagen/Levi Garrett/Skoal/Skoal Bandits ride. But wed also have to run a second car, wallpapered with nothing more than one giant surgeon generals warning.2. Paul Menard in the No. 27 Old Milwaukee ChevyI do like Menards Valvoline Al Unser Jr. tribute, but if youre going to run a car with 27 on the door in a race honoring the early 1980s, you gotta go full Tim Richmond, right? Then again, perhaps Rick Hendrick is already thinking about something honoring his 86 Southern 500 win with Richmond next year. Hmm...1. Anyone, I mean anyone, in the Cale Yarborough No. 28 Hardees ChevyNo car was badder, brighter or faster than Cales orange-and-white Harry Ranier Hardees machine, which won nine races running a part-time schedule from 1980-85. Every kids toy box in the southeast was full of 25-cent Cale cars you got with the purchase of a cheeseburger. Heck, this car was on The Dukes of Hazzard! Yet no one is running these colors during a 1975-84 throwback weekend? Speedy McGreedy would be ashamed. Teams, you have three weeks to fix this. 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