Watkins Glen: Robby Gordon race report

Charlotte, NC (August 11, 2009) -- Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen was postponed by one day due to inclement weather at the 2.45-mile road course. On Monday, Robby Gordon and his No. 7 Jim Beam Camry began the day in the 22nd ...

Charlotte, NC (August 11, 2009) -- Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen was postponed by one day due to inclement weather at the 2.45-mile road course. On Monday, Robby Gordon and his No. 7 Jim Beam Camry began the day in the 22nd position, eager to challenge the 43-car field that included some of the most talented drivers in the world.

Shortly after the race began, Robby Gordon reported to the team that he had a severe steering problem. He radioed to the crew that he could not turn the car in either direction. Despite the poor handling condition, Gordon managed to maintain the 22nd position through the team's first pit stop on Lap 20 during the first caution period. Quickly, Gordon and his crew chief, Kirk Almquist, formulated a plan to change the power steering pump during the next caution period.

The team was fortunate that the next caution flag flew on Lap 23. As discussed laps earlier, the crew was prepared for the change; they had the replacement pump and the necessary tools readily available. The team knew that changing the pump during the caution meant losing valuable track position and a couple of laps, but agreed that the change was necessary to improve the handling of the No. 7 Jim Beam Toyota. In less than seven minutes, Gordon returned to the track with a new power steering pump and immediately reported a tremendous improvement in the car's handling. Despite the precise execution of the team, Gordon rejoined the race two laps down.

Gordon and the team refused to fold in the face of adversity, and calmly devised a strategy that would eventually return the Jim Beam Camry to the lead lap. As the other teams in the field cycled through their second round of pit stops, Gordon raced past the leader to regain one of the two laps lost on the race track.

A serious crash in Turn 9 brought out the fourth caution of the day. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. NASCAR threw the red flag while safety and clean-up crews dealt with the aftermath of the crash. Gordon was the beneficiary of the Lucky Dog during this caution period. As a result, he returned to the lead lap for the final laps of the race.

During the fifth and final caution period of the day, the team brought the No. 7 Camry to pit lane for four fresh tires. Gordon restarted the race in the 29th position and began to methodically move through the field. He passed eleven cars in the final seventeen laps. The No. 7 Jim Beam team finished 18th due to the hard work and dedication of all the Robby Gordon Motorsports team members.

"I am obviously very disappointed with our 18th-place finish. Our organization has spent the several months building, testing, and perfecting our road course cars. We really expected more this weekend; it is just unfortunate for our team and the hard work that everyone put in for this race," commented a very disappointed Robby Gordon.

This week, the Sprint Cup Series will travel to Michigan International Speedway to compete in the Carfax 400 on Sunday, August 16th.

-credit: rgm

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon , Jim Beam
Teams Robby Gordon Motorsports