Texas II: Robby Gordon race report

Gordon Finishes 36th at Texas Charlotte, N.C. (November 3, 2008) -- After a long weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Robby Gordon and the No. 7 MAPEI /Menards team finished 36th in Sunday's Dickies 500. Despite a 22nd-place qualifying...

Gordon Finishes 36th at Texas

Charlotte, N.C. (November 3, 2008) -- After a long weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Robby Gordon and the No. 7 MAPEI /Menards team finished 36th in Sunday's Dickies 500.

Despite a 22nd-place qualifying effort, Gordon had to drop to the rear of the field before starting Sunday's race as a result of an accident during first practice on Saturday. Approximately eight minutes into the session, the No. 7 slammed the wall between Turns 1 and 2, forcing the team to pull out the backup car.

Since the team did not get to put many laps on the backup car during Happy Hour, it was uncertain how the 334-lap event would unfold. When Gordon took the green flag, he immediately reported a tight handling condition. By Lap 26, he called in to the crew to say, "We're really good in Turns 1 and 2, but it's still very tight through Turns 3 and 4."

Gordon slowed his Charger to come down pit road on Lap 47 for the team's first green-flag stop of the day. The crew made an adjustment to free the car up and gave the MAPEI / Menards Charger four fresh tires and fuel. Despite handling woes, Gordon was able to pick up four positions after his stop, moving into the 32nd position.

A caution on Lap 57 gave the No. 7 MAPEI / Menards crew another chance to improve the handling on Gordon's Charger. At the time of the caution, the biggest struggle for Gordon was getting the car to roll through the center in Turns 3 and 4. The crew called for a chassis adjustment as well as four tires and fuel.

As the race progressed, Gordon did all that he could do to hold on to his MAPEI / Menards Charger, constantly communicating with the team what the car was doing and what changes needed to be made. Accordingly, the No. 7 crew made adjustments during every opportunity to fix the handling of the car for him. Even with the changes, Gordon continued to fight an ill-handling race car.

When the checkered flag fell, Gordon finished the 500-mile event in the 36th position.

"We came to Texas with a brand-new race car and very optimistic about our chances here. We have been really good at the intermediate tracks lately, and we thought that we would have another opportunity to show that again this weekend. Instead, we had a tough weekend in Texas," said Gordon. "After everything that happened in practice sessions and being in a backup car for the race, we're just happy to have just finished the event. We maintained our position in the owners' points and will turn our focus to the last two races of the year. We hope to get a couple more strong runs before the end of the season."

-credit: rgm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon