Gordon returning to Brickyard as pace-car driver

FILE - In this July 27, 2014, file photo, Jeff Gordon celebrates after winning the NASCAR Brickyard 400 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. Gordon will get one more shot to win in Indianapolis this weekend when he replaces Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 car. On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Earnhardt would miss the next two weeks as he continues to battle balance issues and nausea. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Five-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon will lead the field into the race one more time next month — as the pace-car driver.
Gordon competed in each of the first 23 races on the historic 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that is not far from his childhood home.
Two years ago, after Gordon had announced he would retire, race officials billed the race as his “last ride.” The plan was to have Gordon in the pace car last year. Instead, Gordon came out of retirement to replace the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr.
This time, Gordon, who won three poles at Indy, will drive a supercharged 2017 Camaro ZL1. The race is scheduled for July 23.