Bristol II: Robby Gordon race report

Gordon Caught Up in "The Big One" at Bristol Motor Speedway Charlotte, N.C. (August 25, 2008) - The No. 7 Planet Color / Barrett- Jackson Dodge Charger appeared capable of bringing home a solid run on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway ...

Gordon Caught Up in "The Big One" at Bristol Motor Speedway

Charlotte, N.C. (August 25, 2008) - The No. 7 Planet Color / Barrett- Jackson Dodge Charger appeared capable of bringing home a solid run on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway until a Lap 216 pile-up happened in front of Robby Gordon, ending the night early for the team.

The race started out with a long green flag run, which is uncharacteristic of the night race at Bristol. By lap 15, Gordon radioed his crew to report a problem with his ignition box in the car. Luckily, Gordon flipped the switch to change to the backup ignition box, and the car picked right back up.

As the green flag run continued, the handling on Gordon's car started to fade. The car became extremely tight through the center of the turn. Gordon called in to his crew chief, Walter Giles and began to talk about adjustments on their first stop. Gordon continued to struggle with the ill- handling car while running in the mid-thirties, not able to make up many spots on the track.

The caution flag came out for the first time of the night on Lap 97 for a two-car incident. The crew discussed adjustments and decided to take wedge out and lower the air pressures in the front tires to help make the car turn easier. Gordon also reported high water temperatures, so the crew removed tape from the front grill.

Gordon returned to the track in the 33rd position, but was able to work his way up a few more spots before the next caution on Lap 195. The car's handling was much better, but it was still a little tight through the center of the turns and slightly loose on entry and exit. Giles called for the crew to go down one round on the trackbar and put one round of wedge in the left rear. The crew also pulled a little more tape off to help lower the water temperatures on the No. 7 Planet Color / Barrett-Jackson Charger.

After the stop, the handling on Gordon's car was much better and he was able to run all the way up to the 24th position, still one lap down to the leaders. On Lap 216, "The Big One" happened on the front stretch. Contact between Casey Mears and Michael Waltrip left everyone scrambling to miss the carnage, but Gordon had nowhere to go. The wreck, which involved eight cars, required NASCAR to red flag the event until clean-up crews could remove all the debris.

The No. 7 Planet Color / Barrett-Jackson Charger did not look like it could return to the track. Thanks to the hard work of the Robby Gordon Motorsports crew, Gordon was able to get back out on lap 390.

Gordon ran the car around the bottom of the track a few laps and reported that it was extremely tight. He brought it down pit road for major adjustments hoping to fix the handling and make the car faster. Gordon returned to the track to test the adjustments, but was not able to be competitive. After completing just over ten laps, NASCAR black-flagged Gordon's heavily damaged machine for not maintaining minimum speed. Gordon parked the No. 7 Planet Color / Barrett-Jackson Charger for good, and the team called it a night.

Gordon finished the race in the 39th position after completing 227 of the 500 scheduled laps.

"Our Robby Gordon Motorsports team did a really great job tonight," said Gordon. "Unfortunately, we got caught up in an early wreck that ruined our chances at a good finish. We had a very strong racecar, and the guys did a great job getting it back out on the track to pick up a few spots. Our cars are getting stronger every week, and it's just a matter of time before our finishes reflect that. We're all looking forward to Fontana next weekend; it should be a lot of fun."

-credit: rgm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Robby Gordon , Casey Mears
Teams Robby Gordon Motorsports