Tomorrow is the big day when Robby attempts the Indy 500 / Coca Cola 600 double race day. Here are his thoughts going into tomorrow. To discuss with other Robby Gordon fans or to simply wish Robby and the team luck, go to ...
Tomorrow is the big day when Robby attempts the Indy 500 / Coca Cola 600 double race day. Here are his thoughts going into tomorrow. To discuss with other Robby Gordon fans or to simply wish Robby and the team luck, go to http://www.teamgordon.com and click on the "Team Gordon Interactive" button.
HOW HAS THIS WEEK BEEN FOR YOU AT INDIANAPOLIS SO FAR?
"We have really worked hard this week on planning, attention to detail, parts, setup changes, tire pressures, fuel, yellow mileage. We have our gamebook put together and I think we're better prepared than we were last year. So, will we win the speedway? Strange things happen at Indianapolis. I mean, there are so many strange things happen that sometimes the best prepared teams in racing don't even make the show there. I think we're better prepared. We're more organized. Obviously, the race will start and things will change as the race goes on, but, hopefully, we'll have answers for those changes."
IS THIS THE TYPE OF CHALLENGE YOU THRIVE ON -- RACING AT INDY AND CHARLOTTE?
"It's a challenge. Do I thrive on the challenge? Maybe. You know, I'd like to have a good performance at both events. That would be ecstatic for me and I'd be very, very happy if we could have a good run at the speedway and then come here and have one of our best finishes -- let's call it a top 12. I mean, I think our best finish is 13th, so if we could do something like that I'd be just real ecstatic."
YOU'VE DONE THIS DOUBLE ONCE BEFORE. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE FIRST TIME? IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MAKES IT EASIER THIS TIME AROUND?
"I think it's just experience. I'm a few years older and I've run a few Winston Cup races now. I learned from some things that happened last year at Indianapolis and I'm going to build from those experiences that cost us a win. I'm excited about it."
IS IT MORE OF A STRAIN PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY?
"It depends if you're holding on for your life in the Indy car or the Winston Cup car. Obviously, if we have good handling cars and I just have to steer them around the race track, that will make my job a lot easier. You are fortunate enough to have those as a race car driver fairly often."
WHAT'S THE TOUGHEST PART TO DOING THIS DOUBLE? IS IT THE TRAVEL OR ADJUSTING THE CARS, WHAT?
"The cars are very, very different in the way that they handle. The things you do to change the balance of your car are very different."
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST THREAT IN THE INDY 500?
"I believe Greg Ray -- I'm just telling you my feeling, I may be wrong, I may be right -- Greg Ray and (Juan) Montoya are gonna check out and it's gonna come down to Jimmy Vasser and myself, I think, for the win."
WHERE ARE MONTOYA AND RAY GOING TO FINISH?
"Well, they may win if they don't take themselves out, if they don't get caught up on the outside of somebody. I mean, you have to make it 500 miles to win the Indianapolis 500 and I don't believe Greg has finished a 500. I may be wrong there, but I don't think that Montoya has ever finished a 500-mile race either. He hasn't run an Indy 500 and this race is different. Al Unser, Jr. has won this race two times because he knows what it takes to be there at the end and that's one thing I'm trying to say -- 'OK, back here in the day Rick Mears did this and this guy did this.' Michael (Andretti) has never won it and he's been like Montoya -- he checks out on everybody, but something always happens because you run the wheels off the car. I've got an awful lot of respect for Juan because he gasses it and he's exciting, but I think we can outrun him in the race just by being a little smarter."
THEN YOU'LL HAVE TO COME HERE TO CHARLOTTE AND START 42ND IN THE 600.
"Yeah, that's a little bit disappointing, I've got to be honest. You have to look at how many laps these guys have run here compared to what we've run here. I honestly believe that if Dale Earnhardt, Jr. qualifies on the pole here, he'd be 33rd at Indianapolis. It's a different philosophy, it's a different way you tune the car, it's that whole thing. I'd love a couple more of these NASCAR guys to go down there and play with us. Maybe that's something this Indy 500 thing will do with more teams showing up for a one-off. I'd love to see Earnhardt, Jr. or Jeff Gordon. I mean, Jeff Gordon would be the prime candidate to go down there and run this race."
TALK ABOUT YOUR CUP EFFORT.
"We realize where we're at today. We're not underestimating where we want to be. We want to be in that top 15, but it takes a while to build that gamebook and, like I said, now we've got software programs written for provisionals -- we're building our database here that with time we'll be better. I promise you we'll be better. We're not gonna be at the back of the pack my whole life, it's just gonna take a while."