Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jeff Gordon's balky back threatens Sprint Cup starts streak

CONCORD, N.C. — This is not how Jeff Gordon envisioned celebrating the 20th anniversary of his first Sprint Cup victory.

After 11 laps in Saturday morning's first practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Gordon stopped because of back spasms that endanger his streak of 736 consecutive starts, the longest ever to start a career.

"Unfortunately, I had a back spasm the other night in that last qualifying run 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," Gordon said.

Gordon and his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team sat out final practice and Nationwide series driver Regan Smith will stand by as a relief driver for today's Coca-Cola 600.

"I've had some spasms in the past, but this one is a little bit different," Gordon, 42, said. He trails only Ricky Rudd, who started 788 consecutive Cup races from 1981-2005.

Larson takes Nationwide: Kyle Larson earned his second Nationwide series victory of the season, holding off Sprint Cup drivers Brad Kese­lowski and Kyle Busch at to take the History 300 at Charlotte. Larson, 21, passed Keselowski on Lap 118 of 200 and led the rest of the way.

Keselowski was second, followed by Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brian Scott. Larson's win came on car owner Chip Ganassi's 56th birthday.

Bayne full-time: Trevor Bayne, who won the 2011 Daytona 500 but still awaited a full-time Sprint Cup ride, will get one in 2015. Bayne will drive the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing next season. "This is obviously the biggest news I've ever had in my life," said Bayne, 23.

Formula One: Nico Rosberg took the pole for today's Grand Prix of Monaco ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton after making a late error that left Hamilton irate. With less than a minute left in qualifying Rosberg slid down an escape road, then backed out on the circuit. That brought out a yellow flag, ending the session and preventing Hamilton, who starts second, from moving up.

NHRA: Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Courtney Force (Funny Car) became the first sisters to earn No. 1 qualifying positions at the same event at the Kansas Nationals in Topeka. Brittany had a career-best time of 3.746 seconds at a track-record 329.75 mph; Courtney set track records at 4.009, 322.96. Their father, 65-year-old John Force, qualified second in Funny Car. Vincent Nobile led Pro Stock.

Fan death: Authorities said an argument preceded the shooting death of Max Levine, 25, of Kokomo, Ind., in a parking lot near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One person is in custody. Levine was shot early Saturday morning, Speedway Police Lt. Trent Theobald said in a news release. There was a person in custody, but police did not provide further information.

Jeff Gordon's balky back threatens Sprint Cup starts streak 05/24/14 [Last modified: Saturday, May 24, 2014 9:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.