Michigan: Robby Gordon race report

Broken Shock Piston Cause of Unruly Handling for Robby Gordon BROOKLYN, MI (June 16, 2008) - Robby Gordon hit the track in Michigan with a fast race car, but another run of bad luck was lurking under the hood. After a third quick practice run on...

Broken Shock Piston Cause of Unruly Handling for Robby Gordon

BROOKLYN, MI (June 16, 2008) - Robby Gordon hit the track in Michigan with a fast race car, but another run of bad luck was lurking under the hood. After a third quick practice run on Friday, his chance of a solid qualifying lap was rained out, and Gordon had to start the race from the 30th position. Things were looking better for the team on Sunday when immediately following the drop of the green flag the fast No. 7 Dodge had gained ten spots and was on the move towards the leaders. Shortly thereafter though, things started to go askew, and it was not until Monday when the team learned why.

After the first of seven cautions came out, Gordon started to notice that his car was tightening up, stating that he felt as though he was having a problem with the right front tire. The team pitted under green on lap 38 with the leaders, and crew chief, Walter Giles called for a track bar adjustment and two rounds up in the left rear jack screw, aimed at freeing up the car.

Robby Gordon reported that the No. 7 Dodge had become uncharacteristically loose following the changes that were made during the last pit stop. "Whatever you did turned me into a sprint car," Gordon stated. "I have no grip in the rear tires, and I am completely backwards going into the corners."

The Robby Gordon Motorsports crew continued to make changes to the car in order to improve on the handling of what started out as a fast race car. Much to their dismay, each adjustment either caused the No. 7 Dodge to be too loose or too tight. This made it difficult for Gordon to gain positions on the track while going from one extreme to the other. The fickle race car was a mystery to the mechanics and engineers, and it was deemed that a meticulous inspection would be needed after the race.

On lap 152, the No. 7 Dodge was tagged by another competitor, causing Gordon to hit the wall and put an end to the already frustrating day. He finished the race in the 40th position.

Back at the shop on Monday morning, a diagnostic evaluation of the car began immediately, and it wasn't long until the crew discovered the root of the problems during the race. A shock piston was found to have broken during the race, which explains why Gordon felt as though his car was hitting the valence and was experiencing the uncanny handling issues.

"It makes me feel better knowing the reason why our car was not where it needed to be on Sunday," Gordon stated. "It helps us gain our confidence back, and we are able to learn from that experience and hopefully have more success when we return to Michigan in August."

Robby Gordon Motorsports will head to Sonoma, California next weekend for the first road course event of the season at the Infineon Raceway.

-credit: rgm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon
Teams Robby Gordon Motorsports