BNS: Tracy Gordon Beech Ridge race report

Tracy Gordon Takes Fifth Top-Five Finish of Season with Fifth at Beech Ridge Tracy Gordon, racing on the NASCAR Busch North Series, took his fifth top-five finish of the season when he finished fifth in the PTM 150, held Sunday evening at Beech...

Tracy Gordon Takes Fifth Top-Five Finish of Season with Fifth at Beech Ridge

Tracy Gordon, racing on the NASCAR Busch North Series, took his fifth top-five finish of the season when he finished fifth in the PTM 150, held Sunday evening at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway outside Portland, Maine. Gordon, driving the Tic Tac Chevrolet, moved up two spots in the championship standings to place seventh with four races remaining.

Gordon took to the track for time trials after an afternoon of practice. He qualified seventh, just outside the cutoff for redrawing starting positions.

"I was probably about two spots better than I actually got," he said afterwards. "The car was a little loose but I was driving it like it was looser than it actually was. I was babying it into the turn when I could have drove it in a little deeper, and got on the throttle a little later. I probably could have gained a couple spots."

Gordon, like many drivers, spent practice trying to adjust to a new tire compound used on the right sides for this event.

"These tires are all new to us," he said. "They're hard and I think there's going to be a lot of spinouts today - not people taking each other out, people just losing it. These are really slippery tires compared to what we usually run here. Usually you can get up and run the outside here, I don't know if you can with these tires."

Starting seventh, Gordon was up to fifth by lap 30, and moved up to fourth after a lap 43 restart. Another caution came out on lap 84 and following that restart he came up to third. That would be as close as he would get to leading as he fell back to fifth thanks to a couple drivers who stopped to fit new tires to their cars. He watched third and fourth place battling hard over the final ten laps, thinking there was a possibility that they would take each other out of contention, but that didn't happen and he had to settle for fifth at the checkers. After a sixth place run last week at Thunder Road, Gordon is getting even closer to winning his second race of the year.

"We had a decent car, but we didn't know if we should have pitted or not pitted," he said after the race. "[Mike] Johnson pitted and came back through, and we were a little quicker than Johnson so maybe we could have came back through and picked up another couple spots. When the sun went down it got tight in the middle, but the last couple of times I got here I was tight in the middle, real tight. I was actually going pretty good when the sun was up, but when the sun went down it tightened up at both ends of the track but it was still loose in and out. I had to slide it in and drift up. I was hoping for a top three rather than a top five but we'll go to Loudon and then go to Dover running Andy Santerre's car. Then I go to Stafford and I've had good runs at Stafford this year, maybe I can get a top five out of this deal."

Gordon is encouraged by his good runs over the last two weeks, but knows if he wants to climb back into the top five in the series he'll need more races like that for the remaining four races.

"We've had a couple decent weeks, but we got to have some more," he said. "I want to go to Loudon and have a decent race. I want to get back to the top five in points if I can. We're going to Loudon next week and I didn't wreck this car too bad. This is the only car I've got left. I was thinking when Johnson was outside of me that I could let it drift it up a little bit there, but then I thought 'no way, I've got to get this thing ready for Loudon'. When you've only got one car it's in your mind."

The Loudon race, a 125-lap event held in conjunction with the NASCAR Winston Cup and Featherlite Modified Series, is to be held Saturday at 2PM and broadcast live on NBC-TV.

For more information on Gordon Racing, visit its website at http://www.tracygordon.com.

-GR-

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