Robby Gordon Labor Day Weekend Recap
Charlotte, N.C. (September 6, 2009) -- Last week was a busy yet terrifying week for Robby Gordon. Early in the week, Gordon tested his Hummer H3 in the desert of Arizona. A violent crash sent Gordon to the hospital, calling into question whether he would be able to participate in the scheduled Labor Day racing events. After a thorough examination, the doctors released him stating that it was fortunate to walk away with just a few bruises and a black eye.
Despite being hurt, Gordon showed that nothing could deter him. Passionate about what he does as a career, he rallied and prepared himself for the weekend's events. He spent much of the weekend traveling between Crandon, WI for the TORC race and Atlanta, GA for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. On Sunday morning, he made his TORC debut in the No. 007 Polaris PRO 2WD in Crandon, WI, as a part of THE Off Road Championship series. Gordon put on a great show for the large crowd, but he was unable to challenge Scott Taylor for the race win. Despite having an engine problem, Gordon was able to maintain fourth position until an incident just feet from the finish line caused him to spin and cross the finish line in reverse, resulting in a disappointing 6th-place finish for the team.
Gordon then traveled over 1,000 miles to Atlanta, GA, where he raced the No. 7 Polaris Off-Road Vehicles Camry to a 16th-place finish in the Pep Boys Auto 500. Gordon took the green flag for the 325-lap event at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the 29th position. The No. 7 Polaris team struggled early with an extremely loose racecar, but many drivers throughout the 43-car field were complaining of the same issue. Racing into the night for the first time at Atlanta Motor Speedway came with changing track conditions and challenges that plagued most of the field during the opening segments. Gordon's problems were further magnified by a long green-flag run at the start of the race, which caused him to lose a lap to the leaders.
When the caution flag finally came out on Lap 36, Gordon was able to bring the No. 7 Polaris Camry down pit road for adjustments to tighten his car. After making extensive tire pressure changes and a chassis adjustment, the crew sent Gordon back out to the track. The driver struggled with the changes at the beginning of the run, but as the laps went by and the sun set over the 1.54-mile oval, Gordon's Camry dialed in.
The crew used subsequent cautions to continually improve Gordon's Camry while he raced for the Lucky Dog position. Their efforts were finally rewarded during the Lap 104 caution period when Gordon was named the Lucky Dog and returned to the lead lap of competition.
From that point on, Gordon was on a mission to the front of the field. The handling on the No. 7 Polaris Camry only required minimal adjustments to keep up with the changing track conditions, and Gordon was able to steadily pick up positions.
Gordon spent most of the evening racing in the top-15, including logging quite a few laps in the top-10. However, with only 15 laps remaining in the event, Gordon was blocked in his pit stall during the Polaris team's final stop of the day. The move set Gordon back in the running order and left him struggling to return to the front of the field. By the time the checkered flag fell, Gordon had worked his way back into the 16th position.
"We had a great run in the Cup car on Sunday," said Gordon following the race. "We were able to race in the top-15 for most of the evening, and even showed that we could race our way into the top-10. The guys did a great job keeping up with the track and making the changes that we needed to be competitive. I'm disappointed that we didn't have a higher finish since we ran higher than 16th for most of the night, but I'm still pleased with a top-20 run. I also wish that we had a better finish in the TORC truck, but we had an engine failure after the caution, preventing us from racing for the win. I want to thank Polaris for sponsoring this weekend's races. We had a great time representing them on the track."
"I'm excited for Eldora and Primm later this week, and I'm also happy to have David Gilliland driving the No. 7 Jim Beam Camry at Richmond this weekend. Hopefully, it will be a great week of racing for Robby Gordon Motorsports and Robby Gordon Off-Road."
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will travel to Richmond International Raceway this weekend for the last race before the Chase. David Gilliland will be piloting the No. 7 Jim Beam Camry for Robby Gordon Motorsports in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. ABC will feature a live television broadcast of the race beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, September 12. A live radio broadcast will be aired on MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio beginning at 6:45 p.m. EST. Qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 will be broadcast on Friday, September 11, beginning at 5:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2.
After racing in a double-header last weekend, Gordon will go on to compete in two other races during the week. On Wednesday, September 9, Gordon will travel to Rossburg, OH, to compete in the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Raceway. Gordon will then immediately travel to Primm, NV, where he will race in the SCORE Terrible's Primm 300, September 11-13. PRIMM will mark the fourth of five events in the 2009 SCORE International Off-Road Racing Trophy Truck Season. Robby Gordon enters the event leading the season-long championship standings.