By: Toby Christie (DailyPitstop.com)
It’s been well documented over the years that Jeff Gordon has back pain and spasms that crop up from time to time. According to the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet SS, he had a back spasm in Thursday’s qualifying session and will opt to stay on the sidelines for today’s afternoon practice session.
“Yeah, unfortunately I had a back spasm the other night in that last qualifying run that I made. And I’ve been trying to get it worked out by today, and I got in the car and it just wasn’t. The good news is that the car is awesome. So, I made 11 laps and it was everything I could do to do that,” Gordon said. “I just had to tell the team that I think it would be best if I sit out the rest of the day so that I can be prepared for this long, tough race that’s going to happen tomorrow.”
The No. 24 team will not practice anymore today, but according to Gordon they have a driver on standby in case his back isn’t good to go for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.
“Well, at this point we’re going to have Regan Smith standing by for tomorrow. But I don’t think they’re going to do anything more today. Again, luckily we had a good 11 laps there (in first practice session) and we’ve got our teammates and information that we’re going to be able to gather from them. It’s all coming together very fast right now,” Gordon said.
Even with Smith waiting in the wings, Gordon feels if he takes it easy today that he should be fine for tomorrow’s race.
“It’s unfortunate. I’ve had some spasms in the past, but this one it a little bit different. And so, I just want to really be cautious and take care of it. It doesn’t do me any good to be in the car right now; especially when the car is as good as it is. It’s really about getting prepared for 600 miles tomorrow. I have no doubts that I can be in this car and be competitive tomorrow if I just take it easy over the next 24 hours.”
We will monitor this story as it unfolds for sure.