Robby Gordon heads to Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada. (March 2, 2000) ­ Robby Gordon comes to Las Vegas this weekend with an interesting agenda. While the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a site Gordon has never raced a Winston Cup car, he has raced Craftsman SuperTruck and Indy...

Las Vegas, Nevada. (March 2, 2000) ­ Robby Gordon comes to Las Vegas this weekend with an interesting agenda. While the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a site Gordon has never raced a Winston Cup car, he has raced Craftsman SuperTruck and Indy Racing League events at the 1.5 mile tri-oval. Gordon led 60 laps of the first race ever run on this track in 1996's IRL event. He led convincingly for the first half until a wheel bearing forced him to miss 21 laps. That same year and only weeks apart, Gordon finished 6th in a wild SuperTruck race won by Jack Sprague. "That seems like an eternity ago," said Gordon, who had two days of testing at the Las Vegas Speedway before this year's Daytona 500. "That truck race in '96 was insane. Mike Skinner, Jack Sprague, Ernie Irvan and I raced all day at the front. Towards the end, I thought we had a shot at pulling it off, but as I remember, Skinner bumped me, we both spun and I had to work back from the rear with only 10 or 15 laps left to finish sixth. It was a lot of fun, I like this track." Gordon hopes this weekend brings a better fortune and is already feeling more comfortable with his team and life on the Winston Cup circuit. "I'm excited about this weekend, we did get an opportunity to test here in February, so we won't be as blind as we were going to Rockingham. I know my way around this track, I've raced here before and all those things make it easier for us to get up to speed. Last weekend at the Rock was one of those races where everyone on the team was learning, myself included. Looking back, I'm glad we soldiered through it and left with points, not to mention experience." Gordon will start this weekend's event with the same Menards Ford Taurus he raced in Rockingham, a car he believes is the best car in the Team Gordon fleet. Turning that car around after the damage it sustained last Sunday was an all-out effort for everyone, but according to Gordon it's every bit worth it. "As a driver, you have cars that you know are better than others, most times after driving only a few laps," explained Gordon, whose initial shakedown of the car last week in Atlanta convinced him it's the best of the bunch. "This car has the best balance of any of the cars we own right now. I could tell immediately after driving it in Atlanta, I knew I wanted it to survive Rockingham and make this trip - which it did, barely! "We've got ten cars completely built right now. As we move along and have the ability to spend more time, they continue to get better. We have a car that just got out of the paint-booth this week, which will be our primary car for Atlanta, and it's fantastic. It's the first we've built from the ground up and I can't wait to see how it feels." To date, Team Gordon ranks 25th in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings with finishes of 18th at Daytona and 38th at Rockingham. In both races Gordon qualified in the top-25. "I know Robby will tell you otherwise, but I'm pleased with the fact that we're in the top-25 right now," said Mike Held, co-owner of Team Gordon. "Last weekend was tough, but this series isn't easy. Most of us that know Robby know he never gives in and that he's like a sponge around a race car. He's going to take everything he learned and store it away for the next time. "For example, Dale Jarrett, who was pitted next to us, came in for a stop and parked his car diagonally in the stall , making it difficult for Robby to get out. Actually, he did it twice, Robby was furious! But as we laughed about it the next day, I said, "Hey, you were nine laps down because of a broken pulley. Jarrett's leading the points - don't be upset, some day we'll be doing that to someone else. Just jot it down and learn from it." Robby just smiled and said, "You're right, it's pretty smart isn't it!" Practice begins Friday at the Speedway with pole qualifying to follow that afternoon. As a new team, it's vital in the first four races of the year to qualify and finish races as high as possible. Provisional starts are awarded in those first four races only to those with points from last season, of which Gordon obviously has none. Starting week number five in Darlington, South Carolina, all provisionals will be based on 2000 points.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Mike Skinner , Robby Gordon , Jack Sprague