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Driver switch on No. 88 car won’t mean spotter switch for Chase Elliott

NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA 400 Drive For Autism - Practice

DOVER, DE - MAY 14: Chase Elliott , driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA 400 Drive For Autism at Dover International Speedway on May 14, 2016 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS — Eddie D’Hondt, who was Jeff Gordon’s spotter the past three seasons, will remain rookie Chase Elliott’s spotter even with Gordon’s return, Elliott confirmed.

T.J. Majors, who spots for Dale Earnhardt Jr., will be Gordon’s spotter as Gordon drives the No. 88 Chevrolet while Earnhardt recovers from concussion-like symptoms that will keep him out this weekend at Indianapolis and next weekend at Pocono.

D’Hondt has been Elliott’s spotter all season. They worked together when Elliott competed in the Xfinity Series.

With Gordon in Earnhardt’s car, it will mark the first time in his career that Gordon has driven anything other than the No. 24 in the Sprint Cup Series.

“It’s definitely going to be a different feel for everybody,’’ said Elliott, who drives the No. 24, about Gordon in the No. 88. “I think the biggest thing you’ve got to look at is Dale and his position. I know having Jeff in the car, that’s a big deal for everybody, (but) the most important thing is Dale and his health.’’

While Elliott says he’s looking forward to seeing Earnhardt at the track, his focus turns to breaking a recent slump. Elliott has finished no better than 21st in each of the last four races.

“Just forget about it and move on,’’ Elliott said. “I think you can points your way into the top 16. I do think that is feasible. Do I think it’s irrelevant unless you can be a consistent contender? Yes, I do. I think you’ve got to be a consistent contender.’’

Since finishing second last month at Michigan, Elliott has placed 21st at Sonoma, 32nd at Daytona, 31st at Kentucky and 34th at New Hampshire. Accidents derailed him at Daytona, Kentucky and New Hampshire.

“Definitely been a disappointing few weeks for us,’’ Elliott said. “We’ve had fast cars, so that’s encouraging.’’

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