Charlotte, N.C. (July 27, 2009) -- After overcoming several obstacles early in the race, the No. 7 Johns Manville / Menards team persevered to finish 28th in the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. Robby Gordon headed to the historic 2.5-mile ...
Charlotte, N.C. (July 27, 2009) -- After overcoming several obstacles early in the race, the No. 7 Johns Manville / Menards team persevered to finish 28th in the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard.
Robby Gordon headed to the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Speedway with an optimistic outlook for the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard weekend, and his chances at Indianapolis Motor Speedway looked promising. The team posted times in the top 20 during both the first and second practice session. Despite qualifying in the 32nd position, Gordon had a great start and began picking up positions as soon as he took the green flag for the 160-lap event on Sunday. Through the first three turns, he picked up six spots and was headed for the top-25.
However, the challenges for Gordon came early as he spun in turn 4 of the 2.5-mile oval. Gordon complained of fluid on the track at the entry to the turn. Luckily, he avoided contact with the wall during his spin and safely made it down pit road where he got four fresh tires.
Shortly after the restart, Gordon called in to the crew complaining of a tight handling condition on the No. 7 Johns Manville / Menards Camry. Despite the tight handling, Gordon discovered just a few laps later that his car was fast around the high groove of the track. He navigated his Camry through traffic with ease and moved up nine spots by Lap 15.
The Johns Manville / Menards team faced another challenge on Lap 22 as Gordon called his crew to report a flat right front. The team's spotter confirmed the flat as Gordon safely made his way to the team's pit stall. After the stop, Gordon found himself one lap behind the leader, but the team was not worried since the leaders would soon be down pit road for stops of their own.
The team continued to fight for a good finish and raced their way into the 30th position before coming down pit road for their third stop of the day. The flat-tire and subsequent pit stop forced Gordon to short pit compared to the rest of the field. As Gordon was exiting pit road, the caution came out for an on-track incident. The team used this as an opportunity for Gordon to capitalize on some good luck. Since the No. 7 Johns Manville / Menards Camry already visited pit road, Gordon was able to use the new "wave around" rule to circle around the field while everyone else pitted to regain his lap.
When the caution came out on Lap 128, just laps after Gordon visited pit road, the No. 7 Johns Manville / Menards team got stuck one lap down without much time to recover. Before the restart, Gordon felt a possible flat right rear and came down pit road for another set of tires. Restarting in the back of the pack, Gordon struggled to pick up spots and finished the race in the 28th position.
"Indianapolis is one of my favorite tracks," Gordon said following the race. "The history at this circuit makes it a very special place to race, and I always want to finish well here. We've had some good runs in the past, as well as in other series, but I guess today just wasn't my day. We had some tough challenges and bad breaks, but we rallied as a team and battled back pretty well. Our car was fast, especially at the beginning of the race; we'll just have to come back and get them next year."
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series will travel to Pocono Raceway to compete in the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 on Sunday, August 2nd.