Indianapolis: Robby Gordon race report

Long Day at The Brickyard Yields Some Positives After a review of the finishing order from Sunday's Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, one of NASCAR's most prestigious races, the mood at Robby Gordon Motorsports is mixed with disappointment from a...

Long Day at The Brickyard Yields Some Positives

After a review of the finishing order from Sunday's Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, one of NASCAR's most prestigious races, the mood at Robby Gordon Motorsports is mixed with disappointment from a 24th-place finish and optimism regarding how the team responded throughout the event.

After qualifying a solid 13th in a field full of fast cars, Gordon and company took the green flag Sunday knowing the car would experience tight (difficult to turn) characteristics at the start. However, what was not expected was that the car failed to respond to the many changes the team made to it throughout the day.

Despite spring, wedge, weight and air-pressure adjustments on every pit stop, the tight condition of the car never went away. While Crew Chief Greg Erwin, Car Chief Frank Kerr and more than 10 mechanics on pit road devised the next change, Gordon did a great job of driving by keeping the Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet off the walls and off the competition while staying on the lead lap.

"Clearly we're disappointed with the way the car handled and the result," Gordon said, "but considering everything we changed on that car I'm proud of the way our guys responded. Our race team has matured greatly over the last few months, and looking back at the beginning of the season I'm not sure how the guys would have responded under pressure as they did Sunday.

"They stayed cool and kept me in game as well. Even though we never really got the car right, we changed just about everything on it and still stayed on the lead lap. We made the race in impressive style, and made up points on just about every team that we are racing in our own points' race. Everybody struggles with handling from time to time, and the mark of a good team is how it responds and adjusts, and I think our guys did a great job. We'll learn from this day and move on."

During the day's final caution flag due to Jimmie Johnson cutting a tire and tagging the outside wall, Gordon and Erwin decided to play a track-position game and stayed out under caution advancing from 30th to 14th on the restart with 12 laps remaining. Given his older tires and continuing tight handling, 10 cars got by Gordon's Chevrolet in the final laps.

"You can second-guess yourself on those types of calls," Erwin said, "should we have come in and taken two tires, or four, or did we do the right thing by staying out? We lost 10 spots, but if we had had another caution in the closing laps we would have stayed closer to the front and salvaged a top-20 finish on what was an otherwise bad day. We had a strong engine that ran great for 400 miles and our guys responded well. I'm not happy with our day, but I also took some positives from it."

Robby Gordon Motorsports hits the track this week at the site of Gordon's last NASCAR Nextel Cup Series victory -- Watkins Glen International.

"They say winning cures all ills, and if that's true we expect to get better real fast this week at The Glen," Gordon said.

-rgm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon , Jimmie Johnson , Greg Erwin
Teams Robby Gordon Motorsports