Gordon finishes 37th in Kansas Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 30, 2008) - Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Menards team started Sunday's 400-mile race from the 39th position. Early in the race, Gordon radioed to his crew that the car's handling was extremely...
Gordon finishes 37th in Kansas
Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 30, 2008) - Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Menards team started Sunday's 400-mile race from the 39th position. Early in the race, Gordon radioed to his crew that the car's handling was extremely tight. Gordon held on to the car, but lost a lap to the leaders on Lap 38.
The Menards crew had a chance to improve the handling of Gordon's car during a green flag stop on Lap 49. After a slight miscue coming to pit road, the No. 7 received four tires, fuel and an adjustment to help loosen it up. When the pit stops cycled through, Gordon was scored two laps down in the 43rd position.
The first caution flag came out on Lap 74 for debris. Just before the stop, Gordon commented that the car was "starting to get real tight." The crew made both a track bar and wedge adjustment. As Gordon was leaving the pits, he was caught speeding and was forced to restart at the tail-end of the longest line.
That round of adjustments helped the car's handling, but it was still just a little too tight. When the second caution flag fell, the crew made another track bar adjustment to free up the car and gave the No. 7 Menards Charger four tires and fuel.
After the restart, Gordon told the crew that the car "switched over to be too loose now." The caution on Lap 116 allowed the team to reverse the previous adjustments in effort to tighten the car back up.
The caution flag flew on Lap 129 and gave the No. 7 Menards crew the opportunity to make significant changes to perfect the car's handling. By lap 142, Gordon stated that the car was finally handling really well, and the team was running lap times equal to the leaders. Unfortunately, Gordon scored in the 39th position, two laps behind the leaders.
Teams started to come down pit road for green-flag stops on Lap 175. Gordon was able to stay out longer than most of his competitors and headed down pit road on Lap 183. The crew lowered the track bar, changed four tires and fueled the car. As Gordon headed back out to the track, he was passed by the leaders before he was able to get back up to speed. He was scored in the 41st position, three laps behind the leaders.
Gordon pitted for the last time during the caution period on Lap 218. The crew chief called for another track bar adjustment to tighten the car a little more, four tires and fuel. As it turned out, the last set of tires made the No. 7 Menards Charger "wicked loose." The race stayed green to the finish, so Gordon was left just holding on. When the checkered flag fell, Gordon finished in the 37th position, three laps behind the leader.
"We missed the setup early in the race, and we made a couple of mistakes that we needed to overcome. Despite all the problems, we were still able to salvage a decent point's day, and we held onto our position in the Top 35," Gordon said. "We're all looking forward to Talladega next weekend. We ran really well in all of the restrictor plate races earlier this year, so I am confident that we'll be able to come home with a good finish."
The No. 7 MAPEI/Menards team will travel to Talladega, AL next weekend for the final superspeedway race of the season.