Robby Gordon Finishes 35th in Pocono Long Pond, Pa. (June 11, 2006) -- Sunday's Pocono 500 began on a high note with Robby Gordon passing seven cars on the opening lap of the race. Despite struggling to find the right combination to get their...
Robby Gordon Finishes 35th in Pocono
Long Pond, Pa. (June 11, 2006) -- Sunday's Pocono 500 began on a high note with Robby Gordon passing seven cars on the opening lap of the race. Despite struggling to find the right combination to get their way around the 2.5-mile tri-oval during the weekend's practice sessions on Friday, it appeared the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI (ma-pay) Chevy team would be a contender at Pocono Raceway. Starting in 28th position, and after a quick caution for a spin in turn three, Gordon restarted in the 21st position on lap four.
The team's hopes for a solid finish were diminished when Gordon radioed-in on lap seven that he'd made slight contact with the SAFER barrier in turn 2. With fender damage producing a tight race car, the crew was confident they would be able to rectify the problem with air pressure and track-bar adjustments when Gordon pitted on lap 20 under caution to correct the tight condition. The teams focus quickly changed when they discovered a water leak coming from under the hood. On lap 23, Gordon and the team took the No. 7 to the garage. After removing and replacing the damaged radiator, Gordon returned to the track in the 41st position 15 laps down.
With almost 400 miles of racing still to go at one of NASCAR racing's most unique tracks, Gordon and the crew settled in. It wasn't long though before he was turning laps that were consistent with the rest of the field. At the half-way point of the 200 lap event, Gordon was in the 39th position and still turning laps that would have made him competitive despite earlier troubles. Continuing through the remaining 100 laps, Gordon passed several cars that fell out of the race and ended in the 35th position gaining critical points along the way.
"We definitely struggled this weekend," said Gordon. "We had a really hard time in practice trying to find the right combination of shocks and springs and it showed on our qualifying lap. Greg (Erwin, crew chief) made a gut decision for the race and it turned out to be right one. We passed several cars on the opening laps until something punctured our radiator and cost us a shot at a good finish. I have to give credit to the guys on the team though. They worked really hard to get the car back out so we could finish the race and get some points.
"I'm looking forward to Michigan. We need to go there and have a really good run in the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI Chevy so we can get the points back we've lost over the last two weeks."