Charlotte II: Robby Gordon race report

Gordon Finishes 30th in Charlotte Charlotte, N.C. (October 13, 2008) -- The green flag for Saturday's Bank of America 500 waved just past 7:30 p.m. local time, and the No. 7 Menards team looked capable of bringing home another solid finish as...

Gordon Finishes 30th in Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C. (October 13, 2008) -- The green flag for Saturday's Bank of America 500 waved just past 7:30 p.m. local time, and the No. 7 Menards team looked capable of bringing home another solid finish as Robby Gordon and his No. 7 Menards Dodge quickly began maneuvering through the 43-car field.

In the opening laps of the race, Gordon commented that the car was "just a little too tight." The first caution of the night flew on Lap 43, and the crew brought Gordon to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to loosen the steering.

As the race resumed, Gordon exclaimed that the car was "awesome everywhere." When the next caution came out only a few laps later, Gordon stayed out to gain valuable track position and continue his march to the front. He came over the radio to tell his team, "We have a great car tonight. This is our opportunity to have a great point's night."

When the third caution flew, Gordon had made his way from the 35th starting position to 19th. The Menards crew decided to pit, hoping that the field would stay green long enough to show the strength of the car on a long run.

As the race progressed, the No. 7 Dodge started to get loose. The team summoned Gordon to pit road for four tires, fuel and another adjustment aimed to counter the loose condition when the caution fell on Lap 103. As a result, the team got the car's handling dialed back in and Gordon was turning laps as fast as the leaders.

Over the next sixty-laps, the race was caution-free, resulting in the long run the team had hoped for. Just as the team had speculated, Gordon was able to show just how good his car was as he effortlessly worked his way around the other competitors. It wasn't long before he made his way back into the top-20.

As the laps dwindled, the No. 7 Menards Dodge continued to show strength and speed. Gordon was able to take over the lead on Lap 260 during a cycle of green-flag pit stops. After the team earned five bonus points for leading, they called Gordon to pit road for his stop on Lap 262. The crew changed only right-side tires due to unfortunate circumstances on pit road. Gordon went back out on the track, but a left-front tire exploded, damaging the left front fender of the car.

The No. 7 Menards crew worked hard to repair the fender and get Gordon back on the track for the final laps. When the checkered flag dropped, Gordon finished the 334-lap event in the 30th position and moved up one position in the owners points standing.

"We had a really great car tonight," said Gordon. "The guys did a great job preparing it and adjusting it throughout the race. We were running laps as fast as the leaders, and I really think we had a chance of winning. There are a lot of similar tracks coming up before the end of the season where we can apply everything we've learned here. Maybe we'll be able to bring home a win before the end of the season."

With only five races left in the 2008 season, the Sprint Cup Series will travel to Martinsville this weekend. The race will have live coverage on ABC beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, October 19th. Live radio coverage will be provided by MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio beginning at 12:45 p.m. EST.

-credit: rgm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon