IRL: Indy 500: Robby Gordon early race notes

INDIANAPOLIS -- Robby Gordon left the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday on Tony George's helicopter at approximately 2:06 p.m. (Indy time) to take a Citation X jet to Concord, N.C. for Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Cup event. Gordon...

INDIANAPOLIS -- Robby Gordon left the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday on Tony George's helicopter at approximately 2:06 p.m. (Indy time) to take a Citation X jet to Concord, N.C. for Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Cup event. Gordon passed eight cars on the first lap of Sunday's Indy 500, advancing from his 18th starting position to 10th in the Meijer/Coca-Cola Dallara-Chevrolet. Gordon lost one spot on lap two and fell to 16th place after his first pit stop and was in that spot when the red flag waved after 27 laps. Gordon's pit stop was delayed when he was held in the pit stall after refueling and change of Firestone Firehawk tires in order to avoid a potential collision with another car coming down pit road.

Gordon plans to drive the Cingular Wireless Chevy for Richard Childress Racing Sunday night at Charlotte and then return to Indianapolis in anticipation of the race resuming Monday. Jaques Lazier, Gordon's designated relief driver, started Sunday spotting for Gordon in turn one, and then was in the pits with his Meijer uniform (actually, one of Robby's extras) on at the time of the red flag. If Lazier gets in the car, he would be the first in-race relief driver since 1977, when Larry Cannon replaced John Mahler.

Robby Gordon quotes:

On passing eight cars on the first lap: "That was pretty cool. Actually, I think it was more like 10 cars, but I had to give up a couple of spots because I had to check-up (get out of the throttle) to avoid a couple of other cars. That was our plan, to try to gain spots on the first lap, so I'm pretty pumped about that."

On how his Meijer/Coca-Cola Dallara-Chevy is running: "I think we're OK. We were a little tight and made a change (front-wing adjustment) on the pit stop. I know we were faster than several of the cars ahead of us."

On the rain delay: "I guess I'm the only person in Indianapolis who was hoping for rain, and is glad it did rain. No disrespect to the Indy 500 fans, but with the late (delayed) start today, that's what we needed. I love the Indy 500 and that's why I'm racing here in the Meijer car. We said all along that the first priority was racing the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet for Richard Childress in the Coca-Cola 600 and so there was never any question this morning that I would have to leave and was ready to get out of the Meijer car, during the race, if that was what had to happen. That's definitely not what I wanted to do, but it was the situation we faced. Jaques (Lazier) was spotting for me in turn one and then he came down to the pits and had his uniform on and was ready when the race was stopped. I hope all the fans understand my situation and the plan is I'll be back here in Indianapolis Tuesday morning for the restart."

-rgm-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Jaques Lazier  , Tony George