Charlotte, N.C. (May 5, 2009) -- After a rainy Saturday in Richmond, the 43-car field began the 400-lap race under yellow-flag conditions to continue drying the track. By Lap 5, NASCAR determined that the track was ready for action, and the field...
Charlotte, N.C. (May 5, 2009) -- After a rainy Saturday in Richmond, the 43-car field began the 400-lap race under yellow-flag conditions to continue drying the track. By Lap 5, NASCAR determined that the track was ready for action, and the field finally began racing. The No. 7 Energizer Camry started strong and quickly moved through the field to improve on their 36th-place qualifying effort. Within the first fifty laps, the team broke into the top 30, and Gordon continually wheeled the car around the track picking up positions.
Once the green flag dropped, the race continued for the next 100 laps without a caution period, which forced the contenders to pit under green flag conditions. Unfortunately, the No. 7 Energizer team lost a lap to the leaders shortly thereafter.
Gordon knew that his Energizer Camry was fast, but the team needed to find a strategy to get their lap back. When most of the lap-down competition stayed out on the Lap 167 caution period, Gordon brought his No. 7 Energizer Camry down pit road for four tires and fuel. The new tires allowed Gordon to easily navigate his way through the field moving from the 31st position up to 24th position and into the lucky dog spot.
When the caution came out on Lap 191, Gordon got the free pass and came around the track to be scored on the lead lap. The Energizer Camry continued to handle well, and the crew brought Gordon down pit road just for routine maintenance.
As the competition heated up with 50 laps to go, Gordon and the Energizer team decided to fall back a bit to avoid any impending accidents. The team knew that their main focus had to be championship points and getting a decent finish. By the time the checkered flag dropped, Gordon cleanly raced his way back up into the 16th position.
"We had a really great race tonight," said Gordon. "I'm proud of our effort and thankful for such a great crew. We had a few challenges to overcome, but the team did a great job throughout the whole race. After we lost a lap, the team did a great job making the car competitive enough to get the lap back, and we were able to keep us on the lead lap for the rest of the night. Darlington is another very tough track, so hopefully with a little luck and a lot of skill, we'll be able to bring home a good finish again next week," concluded Gordon.
The Sprint Cup Series travels to Darlington Raceway for the Southern 500.