Las Vegas: Robby Gordon race report

Gordon's Four Tire Gamble Pays Big at Vegas LAS VEGAS, Nev., March 13, 2006 -- The future of Robby Gordon Motorsports' NASCAR Nextel Cup program was looking as bright as the lights on the Vegas strip following the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 ...

Gordon's Four Tire Gamble Pays Big at Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nev., March 13, 2006 -- The future of Robby Gordon Motorsports' NASCAR Nextel Cup program was looking as bright as the lights on the Vegas strip following the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 on Sunday. Thanks to a late race call for four tires during the last of seven caution flags on lap 264, the No. 7 Harrah's Chevy team took a gamble that paid off as Gordon rocketed past eight competitors and ultimately crossed the finish line in 12th-place during a riveting green-white checkered finish.

Although Crew Chief Greg Erwin's initial thought was a two-tire stop, Gordon never doubted his decision in rolling the dice.

"We were right at the number," Gordon said. "We finished three spots higher than if we wouldn't have taken anything. And I don't think we would've been able to race anybody without tires. Greg and I were talking about some things. Our strategy is working well, and we've got a plan. We're having some good runs. We just have to be able to build on this stuff and after two more races, we'll be inside that top-35 real easy and be able to move to the front."

Battling a ride that went from extremely tight to loose over the last couple of runs, Crew Chief Greg Erwin had nothing but praise watching his driver power to the front with skillful three-wide handling of the No. 7 Monte Carlo SS and aggressive maneuvering past the competition.

"That was probably the best race I've ever seen Robby drive," Erwin said. "And hats off to him on that four tire call with two laps to go. I was probably going to get two, but he opted for four. We got lucky when the No. 01 spun his tires coming to the green and log-jammed everybody. Robby got a run on him and drove down underneath, so it all worked out. Not to mention, we had a great day on pit road as well."

"I think obviously we were shooting for better," Erwin said. "You're always shooting for a top-five or a top-10, but realistically with the car that we had in practice Saturday and the changes that we made over night all seemed to be in the right direction. We chased it a little bit. We were definitely off the mark to start. But Robby drove the daylights out of it and got us a lot of spots, and we worked on it every single stop."

Beyond the impressive finale charge, Gordon's overall driving prowess throughout the 400-mile event took him from a starting position in the back of the pack (32nd) and catapulted the No. 7 Chevy team three spots to 14th-place in Nextel Cup point standings.

"Last year we were just new," Gordon said. "You know how it is being new. It's like starting any new company. You don't have your processes or procedures, and I know that I keep saying that but it's true. Look at us now. We're competitive. We'll be in the top-35 for sure. We'll probably be in the top-20 and maybe even make the Chase. If you have that kind of run every weekend, you'll make the Chase. The only bad run we've had so far was California. We ran out of gas, and we still finished 26th."

With Georgia on his mind and the top-10 in points in his sights, Gordon and the No. 7 Harrah's Chevy team will travel to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Golden Corral 500 on March 19 at 1 p.m. EST.

-rgm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon , Greg Erwin