Pole-sitter Jeff Gordon to start in rear at Las Vegas after wreck in practice

Jeff Gordon will now start Sunday's Kobalt 400 from the rear of the field after the pole-sitter made contact with Danica Patrick in the closing minute of Saturday's final practice. 

Patrick Smith

Hendrick Motorsports’ Jeff Gordon may have celebrated his first-career pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Friday night, but come Sunday he will start the Kobalt 400 from the rear of the field.

With 30 seconds left in Saturday’s final practice session, Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet suffered damage to the nose and right rear of the car after contact with Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet.

With the incident coming in the final minutes of the session, the team did not have an opportunity to make any practice laps in the backup car. The backup car previously raced at Chicagoland Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in 2014.

Gordon was not the only driver to have an issue in the session, however. David Ragan also hit the wall in the closing minutes of session in Turn 2. Getting too high into the corner, the No. 18 Toyota slid up the track and made significant contact with the outside wall.

With damage to the right rear of the car, the Joe Gibbs Racing team was forced to pull out the backup car.  

Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson ended the final session atop the leaderboard with a best lap of 28.779 seconds at 187.637 mph. Johnson, who ran the most laps of the 55-minute session (47), was also fastest in the day’s first practice and will start Sunday’s Kobalt 400 from the ninth starting spot.

Daytona 500 champion and outside pole sitter Joey Logano was second fastest in final practice, while Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.

Full practice results: