A Solid Run At Bristol Ends With A Disappointing Finish for Robby Gordon BRISTOL, TENN. (August 26, 2006) -- Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is considered one of NASCAR's most exciting races -- 43 drivers vying for the...
A Solid Run At Bristol Ends With A Disappointing Finish for Robby Gordon
BRISTOL, TENN. (August 26, 2006) -- Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is considered one of NASCAR's most exciting races -- 43 drivers vying for the same real estate inside a .533-mile bullring. It can also produce some of the sport's biggest headaches and heartbreaks. For Robby Gordon, starting in the 42nd position, strategy would have to play a key factor in order to bring home another solid finish and continue his steady climb through the points.
With a circuit of the track taking only 17 seconds, Gordon's first chance to pit came quickly as the first caution flag of the night was displayed on lap 60. In need of more grip, air-pressure adjustments and four fresh tires were on deck for the No. 7 Jim Beam Chevy. Returning to the track in the 29th position, Gordon and crew chief Greg Erwin started looking for their opportunity gain valuable track position.
That opportunity came on lap 114 after the caution came out once again to slow the field. Taking a chance and not pitting under caution, Gordon restarted in the fifth position.
A flurry of cautions ensued for the next 150 laps, giving Gordon plenty of time to rest and remain in position to cap off the night with a great finish and move closer to the top 20 in points.
Maintaining position inside the top 15 for the majority of the night, bad luck would rear its ugly head on lap 322. Gordon would fall victim to a right-side tire failure, forcing him down pit road, losing two laps in the process. With the caution flag being displayed only two laps later, Gordon got caught at the tail end of the field. Relegated to 32nd place, Gordon and crew scrambled to gain lost ground.
As others ran into their own problems, Gordon gained positions until ultimately bringing it home in the 27th position, completing only 498 laps unable to recover from the tire failure.
"This was another typical Bristol weekend," Gordon said. "We had the car that was capable of finishing in the top 10 and had at least a top-15 finish going until we had that tire go down. Since we qualified horribly we had to focus our strategy on being in position to stay out under a caution late in the race and move up to the front. We came in a little earlier than we had originally planned, but we had a real good car that could run up front with the leaders.
"I'm looking forward to going back home to California this weekend and hopefully we'll be able to make up some ground we might have lost."
Gordon and the No. 7 World Series of Poker Chevy will now tackle the wide-open asphalt of California Speedway in the Sony HD 500. Catch coverage of the action from the 2-mile oval on Sunday, September 3rd at 7 p.m. EDT on NBC. Radio coverage can be heard on national MRN affiliates beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.