It wasn’t easy, but Jeff Gordon gritted out a seventh-place finish in NASCAR’s longest race after back spasms that forced him out of the car for the majority of Saturday’s practice. Gordon wasn’t even sure if he would be running the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“It was tough,” Gordon said. “I was aching in there. There was one time when I got on the brakes into (turn) 1, and it triggered something. I didn’t know what was going to happen after that, but it settled down. Luckily, I started getting off the brake.”
Finishing 7th maintained Gordon a position atop the Sprint Cup standings. He enters the race at Dover International Speedway as the four-time series champion with an 11-point advantage over second-place Matt Kenseth.
As for Gordon’s concern on his back: “Having some rest and being able to take it easy and do my normal therapy,” he said, “I should be fine by Dover.”