Charlotte, N.C. (June 30, 2009) -- Rain plagued competition for most of the weekend in Loudon, N.H. After qualifying was rained out on Friday afternoon, the lineup was set by owner's points; Robby Gordon and his No. 7 Camry started Sunday's race...
Charlotte, N.C. (June 30, 2009) -- Rain plagued competition for most of the weekend in Loudon, N.H. After qualifying was rained out on Friday afternoon, the lineup was set by owner's points; Robby Gordon and his No. 7 Camry started Sunday's race from the 34th position. Immediately after the green flag fell, the Robby Gordon Motorsports team began talking strategy. With the threat of rain again lingering in the area, they needed to gain all the track position that they could. In the end, Gordon finished the rain-shortened event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the 25th position.
Early in the race, Gordon radioed to his crew that the No. 7 was extremely loose. When the caution flew for the first time on Lap 16, Gordon brought his Camry to pit road for two right side tires. When the race resumed, the car's handling continued to fade. Gordon returned to pit road during the second caution period for matching left side tires. The series of early caution flags helped determine the team's started for Sunday's event. Since they had already pitted for tires, they decided that they would come to pit road during the competition yellow on Lap 45 for gas only, which they hoped would allow them to pick up valuable track position.
A Lap 60 incident provided Gordon with the perfect opportunity to get on a different strategy than the rest of the field. The No. 7 Camry spun on track as a part of a chain reaction incident. Gordon was able to keep his Camry from hitting the wall or other cars to avoid sustaining any damage. Without any necessary repairs, Gordon came down pit road for a fresh set of tires and fuel.
The following green flag run forced the field to pit under green flag conditions. Since Gordon's last stop was about 15 laps after the leaders, he was able to stay out far longer than the rest of the field. By staying on track, Robby Gordon actually had the chance to lead the race before his team had to pit his Camry. On Lap 133, Gordon came down pit road for service.
Another caution on Lap 169 put Gordon in the perfect position for the 301-lap event. On this stop, Gordon came down pit road for four tires and fuel, knowing that he would be able to make it the scheduled distance with just one more stop.
A huge multi-car incident on Lap 175 brought out the red flag and gave the No. 7 RGM crew another chance to talk about their strategy. The team decided that they would not pit before the field restarted, but would instead stay on track and wait to pit until they could make it the scheduled distance.
The RGM team decided to short pit due to a set of tires that were lacking grip. Gordon brought his No. 7 Camry down pit road on Lap 235 for four fresh tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Gordon then returned to the track where he eventually worked his way in to the 25th position, one lap behind the leaders.
Unfortunately, the skies opened on Lap 266 leading NASCAR to bring out the red flag. With rain steadily falling around the 1-mile oval, NASCAR decided to make the race official at 5:42 p.m., leaving Gordon to finish in the 25th position.
"The rain and changing track conditions throughout the weekend made it very difficult to get the car set up for today's race," said Gordon. "I believe we had a car capable of running in the top-15 today. Strategizing isn't easy any race weekend, and it really isn't easy when you don't know the distance of the race. Regardless, we learned a lot about how our car reacted to different changes. Hopefully we'll be able to take what we learned and come back here in the fall to have a really strong run."
Next weekend, the Sprint Cup Series travels to Daytona International Speedway where they will celebrate Independence Day with the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday, July 4th.