Talladega: Robby Gordon race report

Late Race Bump Causes Gordon to Finish Seventh Huntersville, NC (April 26, 2004) -- After qualifying fourth at the Talladega Superspeedway, Robby Gordon and the Fruit of the Loom Racing Team looked to be well on its way to catching the elusive...

Late Race Bump Causes Gordon to Finish Seventh

Huntersville, NC (April 26, 2004) -- After qualifying fourth at the Talladega Superspeedway, Robby Gordon and the Fruit of the Loom Racing Team looked to be well on its way to catching the elusive win that has thus far been just out of reach for the team weekend after weekend.

The battle for positions began as soon as the green flag fell Saturday for the Aaron's 312 NASCAR Busch Series race. Moving ahead quickly, Gordon had reached the second position by the time the first caution of the day came out early in the race at Lap 2.

Arguably the best car on the track, Gordon and the No. 55 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet Monte Carlo took the lead at Lap 19 and would stay there until relinquishing the position to Dale Earnhardt Jr. after a fierce battle at Lap 40. Gordon and Earnhardt Jr. would continue to trade the lead until the second caution of the day came out at Lap 45. First to enter the pits, Gordon took on four tires and fuel and exited pit row once again in first place.

Leading at the halfway mark, Gordon continued to fight for the first position trading the lead several times until the third caution of the day fell at Lap 85. Entering the pits in fifth place, the Fruit of the Loom Racing Team's pit crew came through again with an incredible time of 13.8 seconds for the four tire and fuel pit stop. Although Gordon was the fourth driver to exit pit row, the only cars to beat him back onto the track had each only added two tires during their pit stops.

Gordon avoided a multi-car accident at Lap 100 and remained in third position throughout the subsequent restart and the caution that came out just two laps later.

With a car that had dominated all day, Gordon looked to be headed for Victory Lane for the first time this season until Dale Earnhardt Jr. hit him from behind on the back straightaway forcing Gordon to steer up the track to make the save. The incident sent Gordon all the way back to 15th but he managed to finish the race seventh, another top-10 finish for the Fruit of the Loom racing Team.

"It was a good run for the Fruit of the Loom Racing Team," Gordon said. " The pit stops were great, the Richard Childress Racing engine ran really good, and all my guys have been doing a really good job in the shop building good race cars. We are a little disappointed with the results, but we will get them in Daytona."

PIT NOTES
- Robby Gordon sits fifth in the NASCAR Busch Series point race, 62 points behind leader Michael Waltrip.

- Gordon and the Fruit of the Loom Racing Team have had 5 top-10 and three top-five finishes so far in the team's inaugural season.

- Gordon will head to his home state of California next weekend for the 1-800-PIT-SHOP.COM 300.

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Michael Waltrip , Robby Gordon
Teams Richard Childress Racing