Robby Gordon Fights His Way to a Top-10 Finish HAMPTON, Ga. (Oct. 29, 2006) -- Following a rained-out qualifying session on Friday and with starting positions set by NASCAR's points system, Robby Gordon was slated to begin Sunday's ...
Robby Gordon Fights His Way to a Top-10 Finish
HAMPTON, Ga. (Oct. 29, 2006) -- Following a rained-out qualifying session on Friday and with starting positions set by NASCAR's points system, Robby Gordon was slated to begin Sunday's Halloween edition of NASCAR Nextel Cup racing from the 29th position. That soon changed, despite a promising showing in Saturday's morning practice session, as Gordon was forced to change an engine during final practice, relegating him to the rear of the field for the start of the 325-lap event.
Gordon now began with his sights set on completing where the team had left off back in the spring.
From the start, Gordon made his way through the field with ease, eventually settling in 23rd on lap 35, 20 positions higher than where he began.
As the day's first round of green-flag stops got underway, Gordon headed to pit road on lap 57 for four tires and fuel, returning to the track one-lap down to the leaders. As he worked to get his lap back, the caution flag was displayed on lap 82, pinning him in 20th spot still one lap down.
Determined to regain his position on the lead lap, Gordon worked his way through the field until becoming the first car one-lap down and in position to receive the coveted 'Lucky Dog' award on lap 94. Under the next round of green-flag stops, Gordon relinquished the position to head to pit road for tires and fuel, spending the next 130 laps battling to reclaim his position as the first car one-lap down.
After posting the fastest laps of the day and eventually passing the No. 49 of Mike Bliss, Gordon was able to reclaim his position back on the lead lap as the caution flag was displayed on lap 290.
With a fast race car and in position to make a run at the top five, Gordon maintained through the remaining laps to bring home his first career top-10 finish at Atlanta, despite suffering a broken rear differential, making it difficult for Gordon's No. 7 to reach full speed on the race's few remaining restarts.
"We had our fair share of problems this weekend and to bring home a top 10, I feel pretty good about that," Gordon said. "I knew we had a car that was capable of finishing within either the top 10 or top five and we were finally able to do it. Between the motor change and then the differential failing on us late in the race, we pulled it together as a team and got the job done, and I'm proud of the guys for that. We'll take it to Texas next and hopefully get ourselves back-to-back top-10 finishes."
Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Mapei (ma-pay) Chevy make their way back to the Lone Star State for the Dickies 500 at the 1.5-mile quad-oval of Texas Motor Speedway.
-credit: team gordon