Gordon Finishes 19th at Atlanta Charlotte, N.C. (October 27, 2008) -- As the Jim Beam team prepared for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, they were optimistic that they would have an impressive run and a great finish. The ...
Gordon Finishes 19th at Atlanta
Charlotte, N.C. (October 27, 2008) -- As the Jim Beam team prepared for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, they were optimistic that they would have an impressive run and a great finish. The team achieved these goals by posting a top-20 finish at the 1.54-mile track on Sunday afternoon.
When the green flag fell to begin the 325-lap race, Gordon radioed to the crew that car was a little tight. An opportunistic caution on Lap 2 gave the crew a chance to loosen the handling on the Jim Beam Dodge Charger. Since speeds fell off quickly as the tires wore, the crew also called for four tires to help Gordon gain positions on the track.
By Lap 19, Gordon commented on how pleased he was with the handling of his No. 7 Dodge. With the handling near perfect, Gordon was progressively picking up positions as he ran lap times equal to or faster than the leaders. As he passed his competitors, he made it look effortless by optimizing both the high and low lines.
As the afternoon progressed, the track surface began to change and Gordon's car became loose. The field started to come in on Lap 85 for green flag pit stops. Gordon headed down pit road on Lap 86 for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to tighten up the race car. By the time pit stops cycled through, Gordon was scored in the 25th position.
Gordon steadily made his way to the front of the field, picking off his competitors one by one. The field underwent another set of green flag pit stops, and Gordon hit pit road on Lap 190. Gordon's car was handling well, so the crew only serviced the Jim Beam Dodge with four tires and fuel. When the stops cycled through, Gordon had picked up another two spots. He was shown in the 21st position after a good stop by the No. 7 Jim Beam crew.
As the laps dwindled and the track continued to lose grip, Gordon's race car began to get loose again. During each pit stop, the crew made several chassis adjustments to adjust the car's handling. By the closing laps of Sunday's race, the handling was dialed back in on the Jim Beam Charger, but there just weren't enough laps remaining to pick up any additional positions.
When the checkered flag fell to conclude the Pep Boys Auto 500, Gordon was the scored 19th position, the first car one lap down. This impressive finish moved the team up one position in the owners' point standings to 34th.
"Our team did exactly what we needed to do today," said Gordon. "The crew did a great job getting our car prepared for the race, and we were extremely fast. If we would've been able to get back on the lead lap, I'm sure we could've made a run for it. I am really looking forward to Texas this weekend, since it is very similar to Atlanta. I hope we can continue to show speed at the intermediate tracks and finish off the year with a few more strong runs."