May 16, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon (24) before practice for the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Back spasms plague Jeff Gordon at Charlotte

Back spasms sidelined NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday. He made a few laps during the first practice of the day on Saturday, but his No. 24 team will sit out the afternoon practice. The back issue had actually been plaguing the driver since qualifying on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, I had a back spasm the other night in that last qualifying run that I made,” Gordon said. “And I’ve been trying to get it worked otu 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. 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.”

Sunday evening, the series will run the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, the longest race of the Sprint Cup Series season. Regan Smith, who competes full-time in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports (which has an affiliation with Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports team), will be on standby Sunday evening, in case Gordon is unable to race the full 600-mile distance.

“At this point, we’re going to have Regan Smith standing by for tomorrow,” Gordon said. “but I don’t think they’re (his No. 24 team) going to do anything more today. Again, luckily we had a good 11 laps there (in practice), 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.”

The Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to take the green flag shortly after 6 p.m. ET Sunday evening. It can be seen live on FOX

– Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

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Tags: Charlotte Motor Speedway Coca-Cola 600 Jeff Gordon NASCAR

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