Robby Gordon finished ninth in the first of today's Twin 125 qualifying races at the Daytona International Speedway. Starting 16th, Gordon edged forward two positions at the start, then positioned himself with the front two packs to officially...
Robby Gordon finished ninth in the first of today's Twin 125 qualifying races at the Daytona International Speedway. Starting 16th, Gordon edged forward two positions at the start, then positioned himself with the front two packs to officially earn his way into Sunday's Daytona 500. Gordon will start 17th in the field of 43 cars, alongside Kenny Irwin and directly behind former open-wheel competitor Scott Pruett.
For Gordon, it will his his third Daytona 500. He finished 18th in 1991, and 16th in 1997. This is his first as an owner/driver.
ROBBY GORDON "Right now, I'm breathing a big sigh of relief. To finish ninth in a race like that with as many heaters as there were was a big accomplishment for us. Somebody told me there were 18 championships and over 400 wins amongst these guys, so to be able to race with them makes us feel good. We knew we had to pass at least one to make the field. I guess I threw in a few for good measure! It's a pressure cooker here. I could feel it in my bones as we rolled off pit lane for the parade laps. Everybody on Team Gordon has worked hard and I didn't want to let anyone down, including our sponsors, who were here from Turtle Wax, Duracell and Ingersoll-Rand.
"The car was fantastic. I could run anywhere on the track, especially the bottom line, which I ended up doing quite a bit. I don't know if the other guys started to push, but I was having a hard time getting people to run with me down low. Terry (Labonte) kept going down there with me, but he'd jump back up and I'd be out there solo trying to pull my own train. Towards the end of the race, I had a little push, but I was still able to run that low line. We fell back in our pack, but I was able to drive forward on my own and get Dale (Earnhardt) at the end. By itself, the car is stout, especially when I'm low, and that'll help us in the race."
MIKE HELD (Co-owner) "That was 50 laps of terror for me. We knew he had the race car to run with these guys and we know he's a racer, but anything can happen. We're in the show, what can I say? A couple of times when they were coming down the front straight, I had to bite my lip because Robby kept running that low line - sometimes too low! The car works down there, though. I give credit to the crew for that. Not only has Robby come here to race, but so have they. I'm proud of the whole effort."