Darlington: Robby Gordon preview

Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet exhibited yet another notable top-15 showing for more than half of the 400 laps at Richmond International Raceway last Saturday. But a late-race wreck after tangling with the marbles in the...

Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet exhibited yet another notable top-15 showing for more than half of the 400 laps at Richmond International Raceway last Saturday. But a late-race wreck after tangling with the marbles in the high groove took the team out of contention for a back-to-back top-10 run. With the track known for its feisty characteristics on the horizon, Gordon will attempt to tame a legend, Darlington Raceway, and avoid the distinction that comes with running the fastest line around the track and hitting the walls -- the "Darlington Stripe."

Menards/Moen Fast Facts:

* Menards & Moen -- Robby Gordon will again be sponsored by Menards this weekend during the 103rd race at Darlington Raceway while Moen takes center stage on the No. 7 Chevrolet hood. Moen Incorporated is the No. 1 brand of faucet in North America. In addition to stylish and affordable faucets, Moen also offers residential and commercial sinks and a full range of tub and showering packages. Moen brands include ShowHouse™ by Moen, Creative Specialties International® and the Cleveland Faucet Group®. Moen is part of Fortune Brands ®, Inc. (NYSE:FO, www.fortunebrands.com) Home and Hardware group - a leading consumer brands company that includes leading cabinetry, door and lock manufacturers such as Therma-Tru®, Masterbrand Cabinets®, Inc., Aristokraft® Cabinetry and Master Lock®. Jim Beam, Harrah's and CarLoan.com will serve as associates.

* Chassis -- Gordon will run chassis No. 106 at Darlington. Chassis 106 will sport an entirely new body on Saturday and made its last appearance at Bristol Motor Speedway with a 26th-place finish. The chassis aided Gordon in staking a claim inside the top-15 for the majority of the day until a mid-pack shuffle led to contact with the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin breaking a bleed line off the top of the radiator.

* Earning His Stripes -- Gordon will take on the 1.366-mile egg-shaped course for the 11th time on May 13. He has led one lap at Darlington and holds one top-five and one top-10 in Nextel Cup Series competition. With one attempt under his belt in the Busch Series, Gordon boasts a seventh-place finish at the track deemed "Too Tough to Tame."

* Darlington Facts -- Five of the last 10 races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position. According to Harold King, current senior advisor to the track president and 81-year-old volunteer since Darlington's first event in 1950, crews underestimated the toll the gritty surface would take on tires at the first race and went through the infield crowd buying spare tires from fans parked there.

* Get to the Point -- Following the Richmond 400, the driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet is in 32nd position in NASCAR Nextel Cup point standings with 137 points separating him and the top-20 competitors.

Robby Gordon's Quotes on Darlington

"Making our way to Darlington this weekend, our team is feeling optimistic. At Richmond, we proved yet again that we've got a strong overall program. Everything is continuing to gel. My communication with Greg [Erwin] gets better each week, we're making the right adjustments to our cars and the pit crew's doing everything they can to give me everything they've got over the wall. Although Talladega was our first 10th-place finish of the year, we've been in a position for quite a few more 10th-place finishes and we're working really hard on all our cars. We're very pleased with where we're at but a little disappointed with where we are at in points. But I know it won't take too many more 10th-place finishes to get us back in this deal, and we're putting ourselves in a position to do just that week-in-and-week-out."

"As a driver, I head to Darlington with a lot of confidence. Some of my strongest performances came in 2004 in both the Cup and Busch cars at a track which many consider to be one of the toughest to drive. We'll be focusing on a good qualifying run but we also want to run well on Saturday night. With a configuration that's wider in turns one and two and tighter in turns three and four, you have to find that balance between making a good qualifying run and racing up near the wall during the race. We'll be looking for the right setup that will allow us to do both."

-rgm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon , Denny Hamlin , Jim Beam