Jeff Gordon Under the Weather in Kansas

If you haven't seen or heard much from NASCAR's four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon as the race weekend gets going at Kansas Speedway, there's a pretty good reason for that.

Gordon, who doesn't look too peppy in the photo from Friday in Kansas to the right, is feeling quite under the weather, according the The Charlotte Observer'sDavid Poole.

"Jeff Gordon qualified 13th fastest on Friday. He also practiced his car, but that was about the only thing the four-time champion did. He was under the weather and canceled all of his media sessions to conserve his energy for driving."

In practice this afternoon, Gordon turned just 11 laps during the one and a half-hour session, and in between me falling in out of a nap during qualifying Friday afternoon, I'm pretty sure ESPN didn't talk to him during their coverage.

Without a doubt, Gordon's team is going to put remember that winning practice doesn't win a championship, and will make sure Gordon is ready to go for Sunday's Camping World 400.

Gordon's team -- and more excluvisely crew chief Steve Letarte -- is likely one of the best in the business in realizing when their driver needs to push the issue and also when he needs to hit the motorhome for some precious Z's. I would imagine the attitude over the rest of the weekend, and especially Saturday's practices, will be for Gordon to get in the car as he sees fit and then to have another driver standing by if necessary.

Who would that driver be? It's unknown at this point, but I'd bet JR Motorsports driver Brad Keselowski won't be leaving Saturday night following the Nationwide Series race at the speedway and will instead be present in the No. 24 pit area on Sunday if need be to fill in for Gordon.

A weekend like this is when Gordon's coolness to driving in the Nationwide Series makes the most sense, as he doesn't have to worry about anything other than practice on Saturday.

The No. 24 will take the green flag Sunday with Gordon sitting 8th in the championship standings, 118 points behind leader Carl Edwards.

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