Charlotte, N.C. (September 21, 2009) -- Robby Gordon returned to the seat of the No. 7 Toyota Camry this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Gordon was absent from the Richmond festivities as he continued his quest for the 2009 SCORE Desert...
Charlotte, N.C. (September 21, 2009) -- Robby Gordon returned to the seat of the No. 7 Toyota Camry this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Gordon was absent from the Richmond festivities as he continued his quest for the 2009 SCORE Desert Series points championship, bringing home the SCORE Terrible's Primm 300 win and advancing his points lead.
After a victorious weekend at Primm, Gordon immediately shifted his focus to the race at Loudon and the team's first race of the season with Sylvania as primary sponsor. They headed north determined to have a strong run where Sylvania was also the title sponsor.
Gordon started the race in the 28th position, but quickly called in to his crew to report challenges with the handling of the No. 7 Sylvania Camry. The car lacked the side bite it needed, and the loose condition slowed Gordon as he traveled through the tight turns on the flat 1-mile oval.
The Sylvania crew used several early caution periods to make a series of adjustments to help improve the handling on the No. 7 Camry. Unfortunately, the team was not able to perfect the handling before Gordon lost a lap on Lap 127. Gordon was able to retain his track position near the leaders, enabling him to claim the Lucky Dog award during the third caution period on Lap 141. As a result, he returned to the lead lap.
The crew continued to make changes to the No. 7 Sylvania Camry during subsequent caution periods. Gordon continued to report a chatter in the rear tires while driving through the center of the turns. The chatter caused his car to get sideways and delayed Gordon's return to power coming off the turns. As the team continued to make changes the car seemed to get better during long runs, but Gordon still had a hard time getting the car dialed in following restarts.
A six-car incident on the backstretch on Lap 167 found Gordon turned from behind as part of the chain reaction. Fortunately, he was able to avoid any substantial damage to his Camry. The crew made minimal repairs to the left side of Gordon's Camry to avoid any tire rubs and sent Gordon back out on track.
Following their final stop of the day on Lap 268, Gordon was turning his fastest laps of the day in the No. 7 Sylvania Camry. The team had a lot of ground to make up since they lost a lap to the leaders during the ongoing green-flag pit stops. With just six laps left in the 300-lap event, an on-track incident caused the caution flag to fall and allowed Gordon to return to the lead lap of competition. By the time the checkered flag fell, Gordon was scored in the 24th position on the lead lap.
"Today was definitely a frustrating day," said Gordon. "We couldn't figure out what was causing the tire chatter that I was experiencing throughout the turns. The guys made a variety of changes and did their best to fix the problem, but unfortunately nothing worked. At least we can use this weekend to learn a little more about our cars; we'll take the car back to the shop and work on it until we diagnose the problem. Everyone did a good job staying with the car all day and doing their best to fix the problem. I appreciate everything that Sylvania did for us this weekend, and I am disappointed that we couldn't bring home a stronger finish for them in their first race with Robby Gordon Motorsports."
Next weekend, the Race for the Chase will continue at Dover International Speedway. ABC will carry a live television broadcast of the race beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, September 27. Live radio coverage can be heard on MRN or Sirius Satellite Radio starting at 1:15 p.m. EST. Fans can also watch qualifying for the AAA 400, which will be broadcast on SPEED Channel beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday, September 25.