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Jeff Gordon Was Primed for Pole Position in NASCAR Race Until a Last-Minute Mishap 'Ruins' Everything

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will have to drop to the rear of the field at the start of the race

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Image source: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jeff Gordon crashed during the final practice before Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where his pole-winning car was damaged enough that Hendrick Motorsports pulled out a backup Chevrolet.

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, gets in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Image source: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Gordon had won the pole, but will have to drop to the rear of the field at the start of the race because he changed cars.

The accident happened in the final minutes of Saturday practice when Danica Patrick spun in front of him and Gordon was unable to avoid her car. Gordon's car suffered heavy damage to the nose and right rear.

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Image source: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Hendrick Motorsports did not have time to get the backup car on the track. The backup was previously used last year at Chicago, Charlotte and Texas.

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