Strong, Maine's Tracy Gordon, who drives the Tic Tac Chevrolet on the NASCAR Busch North Series, returned to Dover Downs International Speedway for the first time since 1998. While that visit three years ago did not treat Gordon well, with his ...
Strong, Maine's Tracy Gordon, who drives the Tic Tac Chevrolet on the NASCAR Busch North Series, returned to Dover Downs International Speedway for the first time since 1998. While that visit three years ago did not treat Gordon well, with his finishing 37th, the return trip was much more successful with Gordon taking down ninth place in the final rundown.
Gordon, driving an Andy Santerre-owned car, took advantage of the limited practice time available between rain storms to set up his car, while setting the 17th overall fastest lap in practice. Rain also caused qualifying to be cancelled, and Gordon's starting position for the race was set by his points standing, which was seventh.
"I think I just have to stay patient and save my tires," Gordon said before the race. "Andy's given me a good car so hopefully I can pull off a good run. It felt good in practice. I'd like to have had another practice or two, I think there were a few things that I would have liked to have tried on the car but never had the chance. I'd also have liked to have had qualifying, I think we have a good top-three qualifying car. We were fourth in the first practice session and I was taking it easy, it was raining and I was just trying not to slip up out of the groove. The second practice I never got any good laps on decent tires, but I think we have a good car."
Gordon was already into the top five just 17 laps into the event, and came to fourth under caution at the one-third distance mark. He pitted under caution on lap 56 and the Gordon Racing crew stepped up, getting Gordon out of the pits first to restart in ninth. Gordon had worked his way back to seventh with thirty laps to go, and elected to pit for right-side tires under caution, sending him back to 13th. The final laps found Gordon work his way to eighth, but a lost spot on the race-ending green-white-checker finish meant his final finishing position was ninth.
"We had a really good car to start with, we were up to fourth," Gordon said after the race. "I was a little bit tight to start off with and for the last set of tires I bought a set of tires off somebody else and it was loose, loose, loose. I don't know, it wasn't the stagger, but the last set of tires really stunk. We had a third or fourth place car and ended up ninth.
"The car has an awesome third gear so I thought I was going to slingshot by everybody on the outside on a restart," Gordon continued. "[Bill] Penfold saw me coming so he pinched me up against the wall, I shot down low and there was Barney [McRae]. I made a mistake, I should have taken off like a normal person, but you've got to take advantage of every little thing you can. I tried to, but it cost myself."
Gordon, having recorded his 14th top ten finish of the year, now looks forward to returning to Stafford Motor Speedway for this weekend's 150-lap event. Gordon finished fourth at Stafford earlier this year and looks to improve on that.