Robby Gordon Finishes 18th at a Rain-Shortened 3M Performance 400 Brooklyn, Mich. (June 18, 2006) -- After a recent string of bad luck, Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI(ma-pay) Chevy team were eager for a solid finish. After a top-10 run in...
Robby Gordon Finishes 18th at a Rain-Shortened 3M Performance 400
Brooklyn, Mich. (June 18, 2006) -- After a recent string of bad luck, Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI(ma-pay) Chevy team were eager for a solid finish. After a top-10 run in Saturday's final practice, Gordon and the No. 7 crew knew they had the car to help them to do just that.
With the start of the race moved up due to the impending rain, Gordon began his charge forward from the 24th position. It looked like the No. 7 team was in for the day they had been hoping for with Gordon passing several cars on the first two laps. Shown in the 20th position on the third lap, an impressive display of driving on the part of Gordon kept the No. 7 Chevy out of harm's way when it spun coming out of turn two. Gordon made his way to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires still confident that he could continue his drive forward despite restarting in the 42nd position. By the time the first caution flag flew for rain on lap nine, Gordon was running 35th.
The 43-car field's eagerness to complete the scheduled 200 laps at the 2-mile D-shaped oval was once again halted for rain on lap 52. In a race that had a total of nine caution flags - three being for weather - and with the ever-darkening skies that surrounded Michigan International Speedway, strategies changed and the teams prepared for a shortened race.
With the field going back to green on lap 58 and Gordon running 23rd, strategy now focused on gaining valuable track position. As Gordon headed down pit road under caution on lap 66, the call from crew chief Greg Erwin was for two tires and tape on the grill to help gain positions on pit road. The gamble worked as Gordon crossed the start-finish line in the 15th position as the field came to the green.
Knowing that the bad weather was approaching, he made his way through the field until the final caution came out for rain on lap 123 and eventually displaying the red flag on lap 129. The race was officially called after only 258 of the scheduled 400 miles and Gordon walked away with an 18th-place finish.
"I was pretty satisfied with car this weekend," said Gordon. "This was the best car I've had over the last couple of weeks without a doubt. I am a little disappointed though that the race was cut short because maybe we could have brought home a top-10 finish. We did have a few issues in the beginning but were able to put those behind us and focus on moving forward. This was a good points day for us and I am really looking forward to heading back home next weekend and hopefully putting the No. 7 Menards/Energizer Chevy in victory lane."
Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet will head to the hills of Sonoma, Calif., and Infineon Raceway for the Dodge/Save Mart 350. Catch coverage on Sunday, June 25 at 3 p.m. EDT on FOX. Radio coverage can be heard on national MRN affiliates beginning at 3 p.m. EDT.