BNS: Loudon II: Tracy Gordon race notes

Tracy Gordon Fights Handling Problems to Finish NHIS 22nd (Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 20, 2004) - Tracy Gordon made his second NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series start of the 2004 season at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire International ...

Tracy Gordon Fights Handling Problems to Finish NHIS 22nd

(Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 20, 2004) - Tracy Gordon made his second NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series start of the 2004 season at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire International Speedway, where he was trying to better his earlier finish of seventeenth, scored at the same track in July. But the Woodworks Racing/Archer Corp. Ford Taurus wasn't handling well, and despite the team's attempts to fix it, the best they could muster was a 22nd place finish.

The troubles with the car started in practice, where Gordon posted the 23rd best lap time of the 39 drivers in attendance. Some speed was lost in qualifying, and Gordon would start the race 28th. The team quickly jumped to try a new setup that would be tested in final practice the morning before the race.

"We have a better car than where we qualified," he said. "We're going to run the motor to make sure that's coming up the way it's supposed to. We'll be a lot better in the race. I'm hoping we get that final practice tomorrow to make sure everything with the new setup that we're going to try will be OK. The car is responding to changes, and it wasn't last time, so we'll be a lot better."

Another blow dealt to the teams hoping to practice and race on Saturday was a persistent rain that forced the cancellation of that final practice session and postponement of the race to Monday morning.

In that race, the setup changes that the team couldn't test in the final practice turned out to not be what the car needed, and Gordon struggled early. No longer on the lead lap, he pitted with the rest of the field under a lap 35 competition caution to get fresh tires and to have the car adjusted on. Other pit stops on laps 57 and 97 were made to continue attempting improvements, and the car was better by the end of the race. But that wasn't enough to prevent Gordon from getting better than a 22nd place finish.

"It just wasn't handling today," Gordon said after the race. "We tried a bunch of things to try and fix it, but we just couldn't find the combination we needed. But everybody worked hard the whole time trying to find it. It's discouraging to finish where we did, but we'll just have to try and do a lot better next week at Dover."

Dover International Speedway hosts the final race for the Woodworks Racing team this season, with the green flag expected to fall on the concrete mile track Friday afternoon at 4:15 PM. For more information, visit www.woodworksracing.com.

-bnsracing-

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