Robby Gordon ...
#13 Menards/Duracell Ford Taurus
Mall.com 400 Qualifying Quotes Saturday, March 18, 2000
Round 5 of 34 in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Darlington Raceway - Darlington, SC
Team Gordon elected to stand on their time from Friday's first round qualifying and take a provisional starting position for tomorrow's Mall.com 400. Robby Gordon's and his Menards/Duracell Ford will start 40th.
Gordon completed "Happy Hour" with the session's 16th best time, a nice reward for the team's hard work in giving Gordon a comfortable race car. The biggest problem the team has faced this weekend is the push situation in turns three and four. Early in the happy hour, after 20 laps, Gordon brushed the turn four wall fighting the push. The left side of the car was flattened, but not enough to damage the car's handling. Cosmetically, the side needs work and a fresh set of decals, but neither the crew nor Gordon felt it to be a big problem.
Following the impact and the crew fixing the damage, Gordon went out again and posted his best times of the session.
ROBBY GORDON on brushing the wall - "The car just pushed like it has most of the weekend and I let it go too far. I think I hit right in the middle of the turn four paint. It wasn't too damaging for us, just a simple case of Robby Gordon getting his Darlington stripes. Actually, after the brush, I radioed in and told the guys it wasn't too bad - or so I thought. They got a glimpse of it when I hit pit lane and they radioed back, 'It's pretty bad alright!'
"Fortunately, the car really wasn't affected by the hit. We made changes as if it never happened and the car responded the way we wanted. It may look a little ugly, but the guys pounded it out and the car will be fine."
On tomorrow's race - "I think we've got a good race car, so I'm not too worried about setup. A lot of that push we solved towards the end of happy hour. I am nervous about the marbles and sand that accumulate out there. Hopefully that won't be too big a factor. I'm looking forward to the race and I'm looking forward to learning how people run here. Happy hour was a good opportunity to run in traffic and see the lines people are taking to pass, but it's not exactly like the race. Nobody wants to stuff a car or take a chance in the session before the race. It's a tough place, there's no question about that, but I'm fired up. We've come a long way since we rolled off the truck Friday morning."