Panthers head to the track for bonding experience

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- The Carolina Panthers are spending a lot of time together this spring in hopes of spending time in the 2007 NFL postseason.

Last weekend, five players went to owner Jerry Richardson's house and played a variety of sports, including three-on-three basketball and tennis.

On Wednesday, the team took a field trip to Lowe's Motor Speedway and took turns riding in stock cars at speeds up to 180 miles per hour. Few players were spared from embarassment.

Quarterback David Carr threatened to show a video of tight end Michael Gaines throwing up. Center Geoff Hangartner says linebacker James Anderson told him he was about to cry before he got into a car.

Players and coaches feel they need to get closer after last season's struggles. Carolina started the year with Super Bowl hopes, but went eight-and-eight and missed the playoffs.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)