The last thing Jeff Gordon needed was the heavy contact he received from Sam Hornish Jr's Dodge in the closing stages of NASCAR's Heluva Good at the Glen on Monday, after aggravating a lingering back problem that has dogged him all season.

Hornish's car bounced off the tyre barrier protecting the exit of turn nine, following lap 63 contact with Kasey Kahne, and flew back into Gordon's path, wrecking both cars and shaking the four-time champion [see footage HERE].

Gordon has been fighting back problems all season, and the crash was a setback.

"It wasn't that hard of a hit, it's just that my back can't stand too many hits," Gordon admitted, "I'm hurting. Everything feels good except my lower back, where I've already had issues. It will just take a couple of weeks for it to heal. By then, we'll go to Bristol and get through that. Then we'll be all right."

Gordon, however, has to race at Michigan this weekend, but he isn't too worried about competing on the wide two-mile track.

"Oh, Michigan is pretty easy," the veteran insisted "If we were going to Bristol, I'd be concerned."

by Reid Spencer / Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

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