Tracy Gordon's First Race Of 2006 Yields Fourth-Place Finish
(Holland, N.Y. - June 24, 2006) - Tracy Gordon and the Woodworks Racing team made their season debut in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series at Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway on Saturday night for its annual 150-lap event and were rewarded for their effort with a strong fourth-place finish.
While the first-ever top-five finish for the part-time Woodworks Racing team was the reward at the end of the night, the afternoon saw Gordon running mid-pack in practice and in qualifying. He started the race fifteenth.
"I need track time since I haven't raced since last October, that's why we're here," he said before the race. "We probably had a fifteenth-place car in practice, but hopefully we can sneak up and get a top-five or top-ten in the race. I don't know if we have a car good enough to win, but we'll give it our best shot."
While the qualifying performance was no sign of things to come, once the race started Gordon started looking for where the Woodworks Racing/Archer Corporation Ford Taurus wanted to run. Early on he found the best line was high up on the 3/8ths-mile track's steep banks.
After halfway, the racing up front got rougher and the groove kept moving higher. Gordon's car worked well on the bottom of the track now and he took advantage of that to move into the top ten. As the battling went on above him, Gordon slipped by and was running as high as third with less than ten laps to go. The final restart of the race took place with three laps to go, and Gordon took a shot at the win, taking to the low groove only to find slow cars blocking his lane.
"I think we could have won it or got a second but we had some slow cars in the low line with a couple laps to go," he explained. "I had a good head of steam going and everyone else was running high in the turns, then I looked ahead of me and there were slow cars in my line. I had to go up to go around them. If they weren't there I think we could have passed them all in that turn.
"They were driving in so hard trying to stay ahead of the other guy and I could run the bottom and sneak past them all. I think it would have surprised them because when they were going in and letting their cars drift up I'd have gone by them all on the inside," Gordon continued.
Woodworks Racing's busy week continues on Monday with a test day at New Hampshire International Speedway in anticipation of that track's two Busch East races, and then back to the short-track car to run in Thursday night's 100-lap Busch East race at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.