Talladega: Robby Gordon preview

Following engine failure a mere 116 laps into the Subway Fresh 500 and a disheartening 41st-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway, the No. 7 Menards/Turtle Wax Chevrolet turns South to a track well suited for Gordon. With 33-degree banking...

Following engine failure a mere 116 laps into the Subway Fresh 500 and a disheartening 41st-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway, the No. 7 Menards/Turtle Wax Chevrolet turns South to a track well suited for Gordon. With 33-degree banking in the turns and 18-degree banking on the frontstretch tri-oval, Gordon will attempt to master the close drafting and high-speed chess match required for success at Talladega Superspeedway.

Menards/Turtle Wax Fast Facts:

* Third Time's a Charm - The No. 7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS team is hoping the third appearance of Menards as the primary sponsor this season will be the charm with Turtle Wax(r) Inc. making its debut on the hood. Turtle Wax(r) is the No. 1 selling brand of car care products in the world with sales in 90 countries. Founded more than 60 years ago in Chicago, the company is recognized for manufacturing environmentally-friendly appearance and performance car care products for the retail consumer market and the commercial car care and professional detailing industries. Harrah's and CarLoan.com will serve as associates.

* Chassis - Gordon will run chassis No. 101 at Talladega which scored Gordon a 13th-place finish at the Daytona 500 season opener. The chassis also made a recent visit to the wind tunnel.

* 'Dega' Data - This will be Gordon's 11th start at what has been deemed the largest, fastest and most competitive track on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series circuit. Heading into his 207th career start this weekend, he boasts one top-five, two top-10 and five top-15 finishes at the demanding 2.66-mile tri-oval. Gordon also claimed a front-row starting spot in 2002 and has captured two top-10 starts prior to the wave of the green.

* Bumper Cars - This week marks NASCAR's first attempt at discouraging overly-aggressive bump drafting with the removal of the heavy reinforced front bumpers of each car. The result? A bumper modeled after one used at other tracks where the speeds are similar, such as California Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway.

* Autograph Appearances - Gordon will visit with fans and sign autographs at his souvenir trailer on Saturday, April 29 from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. * Alabama Homecoming - Front tire changer Gus Hinton hails from Montgomery, Ala. and prefers the short track action of Bristol over the superspeedways. Hinton's first job at the age of 20 was far from the motorsports arena where he spent three years as a taxidermist.

* Season Standings - Team Gordon is currently in 32nd-place in Nextel Cup Series points.

* Fuel Facts - Fuel cells at Talladega and Daytona International Speedway hold approximately 13 gallons of Sunoco fuel rather than the 22-gallon specification at other tracks.

Robby Gordon's Quotes on Talladega:

"I'm looking forward to getting our Daytona chassis back on track at Talladega this weekend which already gave me a 13th-place finish earlier this year. Greg [Erwin] just got back from the wind tunnel with this car, and the aero numbers were good. With the history of DEI power at the track, we should have a good showing this weekend for Menards and our new sponsor, Turtle Wax(r) Inc. We've had a couple of weeks of bad luck, so I'm excited to try and get a confidence boost for the team with a strong run this weekend."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin's Quotes on Talladega:

"We're looking forward to going to the first plate race that we've been to where we've been guaranteed a starting spot. Daytona and all the speedway races last year was a "get-in-or-go-home" thing for us, so that's a big deal because restrictor plate racing is very difficult. We know we have a car that can draft to the front, and we've made some changes to our car since Daytona and reshaped a couple of things. The tunnel numbers look a little better than they did in January. We're sure DEI will come back with at least the same if not more power than we had at Daytona, and Robby's a good drafter. He has a 150 victory at Daytona and does a good job of getting himself to the front. So we're looking forward to ending our string of bad luck and rolling into Richmond and Charlotte in the weeks ahead."

-rgm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon , Greg Erwin