Martinsville: Robby Gordon preview

Robby Gordon managed to keep the fenders of his No. 7 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet intact at the bull ring of Bristol Motor Speedway last week until late-race contact with the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin put a damper on the team's day. Despite the...

Robby Gordon managed to keep the fenders of his No. 7 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet intact at the bull ring of Bristol Motor Speedway last week until late-race contact with the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin put a damper on the team's day. Despite the damage, Gordon managed to salvage a respectable 26th-place finish. This week, Robby Gordon Motorsports will visit the shortest track on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit for what is sure to be another fender scrubbing day.

Menards/Pittsburgh Paints Fast Facts:

* Menards/Pittsburgh Paints on the Hood -- Menards, the third largest home improvement chain in the country, will again be the primary sponsor of the No. 7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS this weekend, and Pittsburgh Paints will share the spotlight on the hood. The history of Pittsburgh Paints goes back 100 years when a tradition was established early -- use the best technology, manufacture the best quality products, and provide exceptional, dedicated service. With over 1,900 independent dealers, Pittsburgh Paints offers solutions for contractors, architects, specifiers, and paint dealers, in all markets...residential, commercial and industrial.

* Chassis -- Robby Gordon Motorsports will run Chassis No. 110 at Martinsville. The chassis was last on track at Phoenix International Raceway in the fall and gave Gordon an impressive eighth-place finish, but engine trouble took the chassis out of its debut event at Martinsville last October.

* Short Trackin' -- With 11 starts under his belt at the track sometimes referred to as two drag strips with a turnaround on each end, Gordon's driving style is suited just fine for the demanding oval. This time around, the driver of the No. 7 Menards Chevrolet will attempt to improve on his one top-20 and four top-25 finishes at the demanding track.

* Locked In -- Heading into the sixth race of the 2006 season, the No. 7 team is in 20th-place in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points and firmly locked inside the top-35.

Robby Gordon's Quotes on Martinsville:

"Martinsville has always reminded me of turn 11 at Sonoma. You get down, get on the brakes, off the brakes and roll the center and get back on the power. Normally if you get tapped at Martinsville, you'll just kind of spin back around and you don't get in the wall. There's a lot of room to slide up before you get your car slowed down. It's definitely a bump and grind race track and you do have to watch out for the aggressive drivers."

"We run well at Martinsville, but there's a lot involved at that track. It doesn't have to be me, but if somebody thinks I did them wrong then -- bam -- you're around backwards and a lap down before you know it. Hopefully I've raced everyone clean so far this year, and I can have a good top-10 finish. I'm just going to do the best job that I can in qualifying and make the smoothest, smartest decisions in the race that I possibly can and score the best result. If we keep putting ourselves in front of that door, it's going to open up and we'll find ourselves in victory lane. You look at the list, and honestly, there are 25 drivers that could win races on any given Sunday. If a guy hits it right, he's going to find himself in victory lane. And I know we're on that side of being one of those 25 guys, where if we hit it just right, we're going to find ourselves in victory lane as well."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin's Quotes on Martinsville:

"This weekend is the culmination of the goal that Robby and this team set out for itself, and finally, we're going to get to show up to a race track and get to practice and practice and practice just like everyone else and know that we're locked into the show. We tested last fall there to try and make sure that we could show up and qualify for the race which we did. We made quite a bit of improvements to our car in the fall, but our race performance was terrible. We made some changes to the race car overnight that were definitely in the wrong direction -- things that we weren't able to undo during the race on Sunday, and we experienced a driveline failure 100 laps in."

"It's not one of my more favorite tracks just like Bristol, because I don't feel that if you have a good car that you can always make it to the end and show that you have a good car. There's too much opportunity to get involved in accidents that are not your doing. So that frustrates you, to some extent like what happened to us at Bristol last week. I know we had a much better car than what we finished. Martinsville is all about survival and being there at the end. You play the track position game all day long and pit road is terribly tight, so you run into the same thing that we ran into at Bristol -- fighting the guys next to you for pit road space. But overall, it's cool that we're going to get to work on our race setup and not have to worry about using up all our tires in a qualifying setup so that's cool. Hopefully, we'll hit the setup a lot closer this time around."

-rgm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon , Denny Hamlin , Greg Erwin
Teams Robby Gordon Motorsports