Close time frame for Robby Gordon

Close time frame for Robby Gordon

Weather wreaked havoc with Robby Gordon's already challenging Saturday schedule, as early morning rain showers delayed the start of practice and qualifying for the IndyCar teams at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Robby Gordon. Photo by Jim...

Weather wreaked havoc with Robby Gordon's already challenging Saturday schedule, as early morning rain showers delayed the start of practice and qualifying for the IndyCar teams at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Robby Gordon.
Photo by Jim Redman.
Gordon is on a tight timeline. Not only did he have to qualify his #70 Meijer/Coca-Cola Dallara/Chevrolet for the Indianapolis 500, but he also must make it to Richmond, Virginia for the NEXTEL Cup series race this evening.

"This weekend is going to be busy," Gordon lamented. "But I wouldn't have it any other way. The way I look at it, I will be spending most of it in a race car and that is one of my favorite places to be."

NASCAR rules mandate that in order to start from your qualifying position, you must be in attendance at the pre-race driver's meeting. Saturday's meeting for the running of the Chevy American Revolution 400 starts promptly at 5:30 Eastern Daylight Time.

Gordon got lucky with his qualifying draw for Indy Pole Day, he drew the second slot. He looked golden to complete his obligations in Indiana and make it to Virginia, until rain soaked the speedway this morning.

A Citation-10 private jet back will transport Gordon back to Richmond this evening to start the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy from the sixth spot on the grid. Gordon boarded the plane at 4:05 EDT for the 65-minute trip.

Gordon posted a four-lap, 10-mile qualifying attempt at IMS, but was not pleased with the results. "I'm very disappointed," said Gordon, "I thought we'd run better than that. We didn't.

Robby Gordon.
Photo by Ron McQueeney - IRL.
"The car got really tight. I just couldn't hold it (throttle) open in turn one. This will probably be our worst Indianapolis 500 starting spot and that's disappointing. The track (conditions) obviously isn't as fast as we thought. If we didn't have to leave (for Richmond), we would have waved it (qualifying attempt) off, for sure. We couldn't do that because of the circumstances.

"I don't think we lost anything to our competitors by me not being here the last two days (in Richmond), because of the rain here (Indy), the other teams didn't get that much track time.

"I'm already thinking about what we need to do for race setup. I think we'll have a good car for the race and that's what's important."

Weather permitting and clear travel need to be on Gordon's side. He is dangerously close to missing the NEXTEL driver's meeting, and having to relinquish his up-front starting spot.

Last year, Gordon looked like a shoo-in to place in the top-three finishers at Richmond. He made up four laps, and was running at the front when he was involved in an incident with the No. 99 of Jeff Burton.

Update:

Gordon had luck on his side, a long list of VIP introductions saved Gordon from having to start at the rear of the field. Gordon arrived about seven minutes late, but before Race Director David Hoots called for the start of the drivers' meeting. Gordon will take the green flag as scheduled from sixth position.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Robby Gordon , Jim Redman
Teams Richard Childress Racing