Tracy Gordon Makes Up For July NHIS Disappointment With Seventh In September (Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 16, 2005) - When Tracy Gordon and the Woodworks Racing team left New Hampshire International Speedway in July, it was with great disappointment as...
Tracy Gordon Makes Up For July NHIS Disappointment With Seventh In September
(Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 16, 2005) - When Tracy Gordon and the Woodworks Racing team left New Hampshire International Speedway in July, it was with great disappointment as a crash in practice forced them to withdraw their entry before qualifying. But two months later, the car returned rebuilt and Gordon made all the hard work worthwhile with a seventh place finish after starting at the tail of the field.
After July, the No. 33 Ford Taurus needed significant repairs, but it looked as good as new when it unloaded at NHIS on Thursday. It looked even better after practice because it was the fastest car on the track.
"The car was real good all day," Gordon, winner at NHIS in September 2002, said after practice. "We were running right with the good cars all day in practice. Then we put in a full load of fuel, taped up the grille and did a mock qualifying run and went real fast, the fastest I've ever been around this place. The motor's got some really good horsepower."
The qualifying preparation went all for naught, though, as rain showers forced the cancellation of time trials. Because this was the first race the team had attempted this season, it was given the 34th starting position in a field of 37.
Despite being mired deep in the field at the start, Gordon put on a charge to get to the front where he knew the car belonged. He was quickly in the top twenty after just fifteen laps, and tenth after 35 laps. He was eighth when caution came out on lap 49, and he joined most of the leaders on pit road for two tires and fuel. He restarted the race fourteenth.
Coming back into the top ten, Gordon joined a fierce battle that even saw him go three-wide to make the pass for fifth place. He continued to battle as the laps wound down, falling as far as ninth but never running the risk of falling out of the top ten. He was running seventh when the final caution came out on lap 107, and the race never restarted after that as rain moved in and forced the early conclusion of the event.
"We had one awesome race car," the Strong, Maine driver said after the race. "If we had a different pit strategy, we would have won the race. This was the best car I've ever had here, and I've won here before. Traffic was tough, but the car was getting through the middle of the turns like a bear. It got off the turns excellent because it had some awesome horsepower. It was a winning car."
Gordon had nothing but good things to say about the Woodworks Racing team.
"These guys worked their tails off getting this car ready and working on it all weekend, so we're happy," he said. "The Woodworks, Archer Corporation, and all the sponsors should be proud of what they put on the track this weekend. It was an awesome car. I could pick cars off at will if I caught them one at a time, and sometimes I didn't even wait for them to get single-file, and I still drove by them. The car's really good and it's got some really good power. They didn't hold out anything on this car."
Gordon's back in action next Friday, returning with the No. 33 car to Dover International Speedway, the track where the team scored its first top-ten last year. After seeing what the car was capable of at NHIS, Gordon will be going to Dover with confidence.
"If we get a good setup for Dover, you should see the 33 car in victory lane there," he said.