CHAMPCAR/CART: Team Gordon Laguna Seca Saturday Notes

Practice and final-round qualifying for Sunday's CART FedEx Championship Series event was cancelled after the tragic death of Marlboro Team Penske rookie driver Gonzalo Rodriguez in a crash during the first half-hour of this morning's scheduled...

Practice and final-round qualifying for Sunday's CART FedEx Championship Series event was cancelled after the tragic death of Marlboro Team Penske rookie driver Gonzalo Rodriguez in a crash during the first half-hour of this morning's scheduled 75-minute practice session.

The starting grid for Sunday's Shell 300 will be set according to Friday's first-round qualifying times. Robby Gordon drove the back-up #22 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menards Toyota-powered Swift to the 18th-fastest qualifying time Friday, 1 minute, 9.712 seconds (an average of 115.573 mph) around the 2.238-mile hillside road course. After experiencing steering problems at the outset of practice on Friday morning in the primary Eagle chassis, the team resorted to its back-up Swift for practice and qualifying the remainder of the day. They started this morning back in the Eagle before tragedy struck. The team hopes to race the Eagle in Sunday's 300-kilometer main event, set for noon PDT and a live ESPN broadcast.

ROBBY GORDON -- "It's just unbelievable what happened this morning. Out of respect for Gonzalo and his family, the drivers stuck together and decided to have an afternoon of silence. It's the least we can do. It's the last thing we ever expect to happen, especially at a place like Laguna Seca."

MIKE HELD -- "Its a terrible tragedy. Any time you lose a friend and competitor, it's a sad day not only for the motorsports community, but for everyone, everywhere."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Gonzalo Rodriguez
Teams Team Penske