Robby Gordon Finishes 19th at NHIS LOUDON, N.H. (July 16, 2006) -- At the site of his first win as a Nextel Cup driver, Gordon would have to work his way to the front from the 34th starting position and attempt to capture his first win as...
Robby Gordon Finishes 19th at NHIS
LOUDON, N.H. (July 16, 2006) -- At the site of his first win as a Nextel Cup driver, Gordon would have to work his way to the front from the 34th starting position and attempt to capture his first win as an owner in NASCAR's premier series at New Hampshire International Speedway.
A track famous for being one of the most difficult to pass on, Gordon vaulted to the 30th position within the first three laps of the 300-mile event. As the first caution flag flew on lap 19, he would pit to put on two tires and gain some track position in the process. Restarting in 27th, Gordon would spend the next few laps battling a loose race car until air pressures built up and the balance came to the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI (ma-pay) Chevy. By lap 90 and shown in 17th place, it looked like a banner day for Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI Chevy as he consistently closed the gap between himself and the leaders. As the field was slowed for a caution, Gordon would head to pit road under caution for his second stop of the day. Requiring no adjustments to a perfectly balanced race car, the No. 7 crew sent Gordon back out with four fresh Goodyear tires and a full tank of fuel.
With caution flags flying three times within the next 20 laps, Gordon moved to the 12th position as others headed to pit road for routine stops. As the field came to green on lap 119, Gordon would post his fastest lap of the race on lap 126 as he charged towards the top 10 and his third consecutive top-20 finish.
Misfortune would soon rear its ugly head after Gordon hit pit road under green on lap 178. As the field cycled through their green flag stops and Gordon was shown in the 24th position, the caution flag came out after Kenny Wallace hit the wall and caused Gordon to be relegated to the tail end of the lead lap. Restarting in 23rd, Gordon would one more time make his way through the field and regain his spot in the top 15.
Luck would be on their side after all as the seventh caution of the day saved Gordon from being put a lap down.
By lap 214, Gordon was once again back inside the top 15. Fuel mileage was now the key to success and crew chief Greg Erwin was confident that the DEI power plant under the hood was showing great returns. As Gordon maintained his position, others would head to pit road to top off.
Gordon's second-to-last stop would come on lap 267 as he took two right-side tires and fuel to ensure that they could make it the full distance should it come down to a green-white-checkered finish.
After the final caution did come out forcing NASCAR's version of overtime, Gordon would make his last stop on lap 300 for four tires and a trackbar adjustment to set him up for the final dash to the finish.
Running a total of 307 laps, Gordon was able to hold on to finish 19th and pleased to have completed one of his goals. "We set out to have a great points day and I think we were able to accomplish that," said Gordon.
"I saw the others cars around us in points start to have trouble and fall out and I wanted to make sure that we didn't have problems and be in a position to take advantage. One of our on-going goals is to make it into the top 20 in points by the end of the season. It's not going to be easy but if we continue to have runs like we did today, I feel confident that we will be able to meet those benchmarks.
"I have to say thank you to Greg (Erwin, crew chief) and the rest of the guys for giving me a great race car and solid pit stops all day. It's really hard to pass at this track and you can't afford to lose any ground on pit road.
"We'll head back to Pocono next weekend and hopefully be able to continue this trend there."
Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI Chevrolet will team up again and head back to the hills of Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 500. Catch coverage on Sunday, July 23rd at 1:30 p.m. EDT on TNT. Radio coverage can be heard on national MRN affiliates beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT.