Make us your home page

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

  1. Road to Atlanta: Tell us how you really feel, Jimbo


    Topped out

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21:  Rashaan Evans #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide tackles Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) 775042495
  2. Journal: USF gets support on the road


    NEW ORLEANS — Perhaps it was the chance to witness the first USF-Tulane game ever, or an opportunity to frolic in the French Quarter for a weekend. Or both.

    USF running back D'Ernest Johnson (2) stiff-arms Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) on a run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH111
  3. Joey Knight's takeaways from USF-Tulane


    1. Saturday's triumph will do little to fortify USF's strength of schedule, but its strength-of-character quotient might have increased. On the road facing an eclectic offense, the Bulls built a huge lead, then made critical plays in the waning moments after some defensive lapses. In short, they survived. Isn't …

    South Florida defensive end Greg Reaves (41) reacts after a defensive stop against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH107
  4. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  5. Lightning journal: Tighter defense fuels hot start

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — See what happens when you keep the crease clean, limit the traffic in front of G Andrei Vasilevskiy and limit Grade A scoring chances?

    Yanni Gourde, right, gets a late first-period goal that follows a big save by Andrei Vasilevskiy.