What might have been: Jeff Gordon said he was asked to drive for Tony Stewart in Daytona 500

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Jeff Gordon said Friday that he was asked to drive for Tony Stewart in the Daytona 500 after Stewart suffered an offseason back injury, but Gordon could not drive because of his commitments with Fox Sports.

Gordon is driving this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and next weekend at Pocono Raceway for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms.

Gordon retired last season and this weekend’s marks his first Sprint Cup race since the Miami season finale. He moved to the Fox Sports TV booth for the first 16 Sprint Cup races of the season.

Gordon was among a group with Stewart in the California sand dunes in January when Stewart got separated from the pack and was injured after a hard landing. Stewart missed the first eight races of the season.

With Gordon unable to drive Stewart’s No. 14 car, Brian Vickers drove for Stewart in the Daytona 500 and finished 26th.