Jeff Gordon will have to relinquish pole position for Sunday’s Las Vegas NASCAR Sprint Cup race after switching to his back-up car following a practice clash with Danica Patrick.
Gordon, who had taken pole at a record pace in Friday evening’s qualifying session, said that Stewart-Haas driver Patrick spun in front of his Hendrick Chevrolet in the closing minutes of Saturday’s final practice session. The damage to Gordon’s car was too substantial to be repaired so he must swap to his spare.
That means a back-of-the-field start under NASCAR rules, so Gordon will drop to the tail of the order before the race begins, handing an effective pole position to second-place qualifier Joey Logano.
Gordon will be joined at the rear by Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing stand-in David Ragan, who crashed his primary Toyota in practice. Ragan had qualified 13th.