Talladega: Robby Gordon preview

Robby Gordon Scores Top-10 at Talladega with No. 7 Menards/Turtle Wax Ice Chevrolet Talladega, Ala. (May 2, 2006) -- Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Turtle Wax Ice Chevrolet had one of the fastest cars during the rain-postponed Aaron's 499...

Robby Gordon Scores Top-10 at Talladega with No. 7 Menards/Turtle Wax Ice Chevrolet

Talladega, Ala. (May 2, 2006) -- Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Turtle Wax Ice Chevrolet had one of the fastest cars during the rain-postponed Aaron's 499 on Monday and earned a finishing place to prove it. Powering to a commanding 10th-place finish, Gordon and team enjoyed a solid run from the drop of the green to the wave of the checkered flag and finished within a second of the leader.

Working the outside and middle grooves to his advantage, Gordon was able to drive as high as third at one point during the 188-lap event and gained crucial bonus points by leading lap 89 while the leaders pitted.

"We had a good run," Gordon said. "We needed to score points like that. We've had a top-10 car quite a bit this year and haven't really had the results for one reason or another. To come out of Talladega with a 10th-place finish, a place where you could loose a lot of points real easy just by getting collected by the 'Big One,' is pretty good."

Barely missing a 13-car pile up initiated by five cars jostling for position in turn three and two other incidents that collected numerous competitors behind him, Gordon's bad luck from weeks past finally turned.

"It was pretty amazing that we missed wrecks three times, one within about a car length or 15 feet of us," Gordon said. "At one point, I could hear the cars wrecking beside me, so I quickly moved out of the way. When the 'Big One' started, I just happened to be in front of it every time."

And despite not having a teammate to lend a hand in the draft, Gordon successfully worked with several drivers to stay inside the top-20 for the majority of the day.

"I haven't had problems not having a teammate at restrictor plate races," he said. "I ran with [Dale] Jr. for a little while because he didn't have Martin [Truex Jr.]. Then once he was gone I was kind of a sitting duck. It really didn't matter if you had a teammate or not. The No. 48 didn't win the race because the No. 24 was there. He got himself in the right line at the right time and his line went to the front. Our car didn't run well in the low groove unless there was someone there to draft with me. Our car worked better in different areas of the race track, so I found out where those were and kept myself in that position at the end of the race.

"It was a good weekend for us. We definitely had a car that could've won the race, but I'm happy with our final results. Obviously it helped us a little bit in the points, and there's only 18 points separating the five cars in front of us. But we've still got a long way to go after the last couple of weeks."

With high-speed, rush hour racing at Talladega behind, Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS team return to Richmond International Raceway, the track that gave Gordon his first NASCAR Busch Series win two years ago. Tremendous side-by-side action will take place at the ¾-mile oval under the lights on May 6. Tune in to the race on FOX television at 7 p.m. EDT or MRN radio beginning at 6:45 p.m. EDT.

-rgm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon