BES: Woodworks Racing All-Star Showdown preview

Woodworks Racing Headed To Showdown After Best Busch East Series Season Ever (Haverhill, Mass.) - Fred Skaff's Woodworks Racing team, which features Strong, Maine's Tracy Gordon as its driver, achieved the unlikely goal of qualifying for the ...

Woodworks Racing Headed To Showdown After Best Busch East Series Season Ever

(Haverhill, Mass.) - Fred Skaff's Woodworks Racing team, which features Strong, Maine's Tracy Gordon as its driver, achieved the unlikely goal of qualifying for the Toyota NASCAR All-Star Showdown, finishing fifteenth in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series points despite missing three of eleven races.

But the team's not satisfied with just getting the invitation and participating in the annual end-of-season match race against the best of the NASCAR Autozone West Series. They want a win.

"We've run good all year," Gordon said. "We didn't get a win, and our finishes didn't always reflect how well we ran this year, but in just about every race we've had a car that could win. This team can win, maybe that'll come in California."

Gordon comes to the Showdown with the most series career wins - twelve - of the fifteen drivers coming from the East Series. His chances will be boosted as Friday night's qualifying races are lined up in the reverse order of points, putting him on the pole for the night's second fifty-lap qualifying race. Knowing he'll be up front, he'll have to learn how to run the track, which he's only seen on television, quickly.

"They say it's a pretty flat track with progressive banking," he said. "The fast guys all run high, but I'd like to try and run the bottom. Either way I've got to figure it out in a hurry so I can check out as fast as I can in that qualifying race, because I know the top point guys will be coming quickly."

Gordon thinks the track bears some resemblance to Adirondack International Speedway in upstate New York. If it is, he'll be happy because the No. 33 Woodworks/Archer Corp. Ford Taurus he was driving at that track "was absolutely flying".

"We didn't take on tires in that race, and that cost us as we got beat by some guys who pitted and came back through," he said. "But until they did, there wasn't a car there that could run with us. I drove that car in so much deeper into the turns than anyone else that I had to hit the brakes to keep from running into the back of guys."

Because of this, Gordon is pushing to have the Adirondack setup loaded in the car when it first hits the track for practice on Friday afternoon.

Regardless of how the Showdown turns out, it's been a fantastic season for the Woodworks team, which had only run as many as six races in any previous season. Gordon took the No. 33 car to three top-fives and six top-tens in eight races. His worst finishes were a pair of twelfths.

"This season came about because the short-track car, which wasn't supposed to be that good, actually ran real good," he said. "We've had good finishes all year, the crew's worked hard all year, and while we didn't get that win we were all looking for, we've got one more shot at it in the Showdown."

The fourth annual Toyota NASCAR All-Star Showdown's qualifying races will be broadcast on SpeedTV on Friday, Oct. 20th at 11:00pm Eastern time. The feature event will be shown on SpeedTV on the next night, with the broadcast starting at 10:00pm.

-credit: wwr

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