Fontana: Robby Gordon race report

Charlotte, N.C. (February 22, 2010) -- Robby Gordon Motorsports and BAM Racing debuted the No. 7 Warner Music Nashville / Whitney Duncan Camry this weekend at Auto Club Speedway with driver Robby Gordon behind the wheel. Before being involved in a...

Charlotte, N.C. (February 22, 2010) -- Robby Gordon Motorsports and BAM Racing debuted the No. 7 Warner Music Nashville / Whitney Duncan Camry this weekend at Auto Club Speedway with driver Robby Gordon behind the wheel. Before being involved in a last-lap incident in the season-opening Daytona 500, Gordon was headed for a top-15 finish. The team headed to California with hopes for a strong showing in Gordon's home state until the No. 7 suffered an untimely engine failure.

Not long after Sunday's 250-lap race began, Gordon called in to his crew to report a tight handling condition on his Camry. The California native was struggling to navigate the Warner Music Nashville / Whitney Duncan Toyota around the turns on the 2.0-mile oval. There was a long green-flag run at the beginning of the race. With no cautions in sight, the field began making green-flag pit stops on Lap 37. By lap 38, Gordon was on pit road for fresh tires, fuel, an air pressure adjustment and a chassis adjustment.

While the adjustments did not help the Warner Music Nashville / Whitney Duncan Camry as much as Gordon needed, they were a change in the right direction. Gordon returned to pit road during the next two caution periods on Lap 57 and Lap 92 in order to continue working on the handling of the No. 7 Camry.

Shortly after the fifth caution period of the day, Gordon called in to the crew on Lap 204 with urgency in his voice to report major overheating. Gordon knew he would have to bring his Camry down pit road to be inspected by his crew. The team worked quickly to check the grill for debris and remove tape from the nose of the Warner Music Nashville / Whitney Duncan Camry.

During the sixth caution of the day, Gordon was once again forced to come down pit road for the team to address the overheating problem. During the stop, the team hooked Gordon's car up to the cool down unit. Gordon quickly returned to the track to avoid losing another lap to the leaders. While the trip to pit road did help cool the Warner Music Nashville / Whitney Duncan Camry, it did not cool Gordon's engine enough.

On Lap 230, just one lap after the restart and a mere 20 laps from the end of the race, Gordon called into his crew to relay that the engine had blown. Gordon was able to make it back around the 2.0-mile oval without requiring NASCAR to display the caution flag. When the checkered flag waved to end the 250-lap event, Gordon was scored in the 33rd position.

"Today was just a frustrating day," said Gordon. "We struggled early with the handling on the No. 7 then we started to overheat. After looking at the car more thoroughly, we had some debris in our radiator that caused the motor to blow. We did everything we could to avoid having the motor blow up by coming down pit road to pull tape and then using the cool down unit. But with so much green flag racing, it was easy for anyone to blow their motor. We weren't the only team to have an engine failure, but that still doesn't mean it is ok. Our team has put a lot of work into preparing for the 2010 season; now we just need a little bit of luck to find success this season."

Next weekend the Sprint Cup Series travels to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the return of the No. 7 Monster Energy Toyota Camry.

-source: rgm

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon
Teams Robby Gordon Motorsports