Thirty-five year old California native, Robby Gordon, has a new approach for the 2004 season: patience. Part of Nextel Cup racing is knowing when you have a 15th place car, and choosing to bring that car home in one piece rather than battle for a...
Thirty-five year old California native, Robby Gordon, has a new approach for the 2004 season: patience. Part of Nextel Cup racing is knowing when you have a 15th place car, and choosing to bring that car home in one piece rather than battle for a 10th place result. That is something Gordon has learned.
Gordon won both road course events last year, racking up two of his three series wins. With the new points system in place, it is more important than ever to maintain consistency in the first 26 events of the year, if there are to be any hopes of making the Nextel Cup series chase for the championship.
Motorsport.com talked to Gordon during NASCAR's annual media day, about how team No. 31 plans on approaching this year and managing their goals.
M.com: Has your strategy changed at all with the point system revamp?
Robby Gordon: I am sure all of the teams will approach it a little bit different. The most important thing is performing well in those first 26 races. What I need to work on is when I have a 20th place car; I need to take 20th instead of running up there and trying to get 15th. I need to make smart calculated decisions.
M.com: With Richmond being the transfer race, do you think the event will be a free-for-all?
Gordon: Richmond is exciting anyway; they have a good race track up there, and put on good shows. I ran great at both Richmond races last year, so that's good for me.
We have a lot of strong events on the one side (first 26), road courses on that side and strong tracks on that side. The key is that I don't have a lot of strong race tracks after the first 26.
M.com: If after Richmond you are not in the chase for the championship, how will you approach the last ten races of the season?
Gordon: Do I get to go home? (Laughs) What I think they need to do is make 11th place worth a lot more money.
M.com: It is $250,000 ...
Gordon: That's not enough - it needs to be a million dollar bonus.
M.com: There has been a lot of speculation that NASCAR should move the Daytona 500 to the end of the season, so they close with their "Super Bowl" event, how do you feel about that?
Gordon: Sure, it's not going to change the way the Daytona 500 is perceived. Like I have said before, Daytona is always Daytona. You can put the race on Christmas and people are going to come.
M.com: So you support NASCAR closing and opening with Daytona?
Gordon: I would like to see us not open with it honestly. The reason I'd like to see us not open with it, is because so many teams focus on restrictor plate racing. If we closed with it, it would be a lot better. I think it would make it a lot better if our first race of the year wasn't a restrictor plate race track.