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.
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. 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.
He began the year with one race scheduled, last weekend at Atlanta. This week, he added three more starts in the Sprint Cup Series, including Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400.
Some more performances in the coming weeks like his eighth-place finish last Sunday at Atlanta and Moffitt, 22, might make his dream of becoming a full-time Cup series driver come true sooner rather than later.
“I think we all have different stories of how we got here and how we stay here,” said Moffitt, who served as a substitute for Michael Waltrip Racing driver Brian Vickers last week in the No. 55 Toyota.
“I have gone through struggles of not knowing if I would have a job in the sport or not from year to year.”
After his performance at Atlanta, Front Row Motorsports offered Moffitt its No. 34 Ford in three upcoming Cup races in place of regular driver David Ragan. Ragan is subbing for the injured Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Friday night, Moffitt qualified 36th.
“This opportunity at Front Row Motorsports will be in a car we can go compete with other cars and race inside the top 25 and get to racing door-to-door with the other cars out there,” Moffitt said.