For precautionary reasons, four-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon pulled out of Wednesday night’s “Prelude to the Dream” charity dirt track race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Gordon, who has been dealing with back problems and sought treatment for the pain in mid-May, elected to skip the event to make sure he would be in good physical condition for this weekend’s Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
As it turned out, Gordon’s absence didn’t effect the event. Late afternoon Wednesday, heavy rains forced the postponement of the “Prelude” until Sept. 9.
Gordon was involved in a hard wreck last weekend during his qualifying run at Dover, Del., and spent much of the day Tuesday testing at Road Atlanta, a physically demanding road course north of Atlanta.
“As a precaution, I have decided not to race at Eldora on Wednesday night,” Gordon said in a statement released Wednesday. “Due to my recent back procedure and a road course test on Tuesday, I believe the best course of action for me is to bypass the Prelude to The Dream so that I can be in the best physical shape possible for the No. 24 DuPont team at Pocono.
“I wish Tony (Stewart) the best with the event and I can’t wait to get back to Eldora in the very near future.”
Fellow Cup series driver Marcos Ambrose is scheduled to replace Gordon in the lineup for Wednesday night’s race, according to Eldora officials, where the event is taking place.
Gordon, who has experienced progressively worse back pain in recent years, had a facet block procedure last month which he hoped would rid himself of much – if not all – of his back pain.
Facet block injections are a diagnostic tool used to isolate and confirm a specific source of back pain. They also have a therapeutic effect, numbing the source of the pain and soothing inflammation.
Facet joints are paired joints in the back that have opposing surfaces of cushioning tissue (cartilage) and a surrounding capsule. Twisting injuries can cause damage to one or both of the joints