Friday, August 1, 2014

Why Jeff Gordon says his back may never be the same

   Earlier this season, Jeff Gordon developed severe back spasms on the day before the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and missed much of practice. He did compete in the race and finished seventh. 

   On Friday at Pocono Raceway, Gordon, who has had a history of back problems, was asked whether the issue has flared up again. His answer was somewhat surprising.

   "I don’t think my back is ever going to be the same after what happened at Charlotte. I don’t know what exactly transpired there, but it’s not the same. And I have to be much more careful," Gordon said.

"I’m just having to treat it more with ice and stem and be more careful and do more stretching. Is it going to flare-up again? It could. But I’m just trying to be more cautious with the things that I do that I feel like contribute to that. But, yeah, it’s not great, that’s for sure."

Denny Hamlin statement on his NASCAR penalty

   Denny Hamlin issued the following statement on Friday regarding the penalties NASCAR handed down earlier this week on his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota team:

   "I'm obviously disappointed in the penalties, but I respect NASCAR and the appeal process," Hamlin said. "I’m confident that regardless of the outcome, our No. 11 team will continue to fight each week to try to win races, secure a spot in the Chase and compete for the championship."

   NASCAR docked Hamlin 75 points, suspended crew chief Darian Grubb six races and fined him $125,000 and suspended car chief Wesley Sherrill for six races. Grubb and Sherrill were also placed on probation for the remainder of the season. NASCAR found problems with several rear firewall plates on Hamlin's car following last Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.