Texas Heartbreak for Gordon and No. 7 Jim Beam Black Chevy Team JUSTIN, Tex., April 10 , 2006 -- Another promising day by Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Jim Beam Black Chevrolet turned sour on Sunday as an untimely late-race caution flag again ...
Texas Heartbreak for Gordon and No. 7 Jim Beam Black Chevy Team
JUSTIN, Tex., April 10 , 2006 -- Another promising day by Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Jim Beam Black Chevrolet turned sour on Sunday as an untimely late-race caution flag again foiled the team's efforts at the Samsung/RadioShack 500.
In a season besieged by what can only be characterized as bad luck, Sunday's race was no different.
As Gordon began a steady charge through the top-10 on lap 271, the fuel gauge began to flutter on lap 310 forcing the No. 7 Chevy to pit road three laps shy of its originally scheduled stop. Solidly in sixth-place with 24 laps to go, the No. 7 crew knocked off its best pit stop of the day on its ninth and final visit adding one can of fuel and four fresh tires to go the distance.
But as Gordon left his pit stall after the stop that was sure to gain track position when the leaders followed in only a few laps later, the caution flag waved for debris and a similar heartbreaking story to weeks past began to unfold for the No. 7 team as Gordon found himself one lap down.
With only 17 laps remaining when the race went back to green on lap 318, Gordon and the No. 7 Jim Beam Black Chevy finished a disappointing 20th. Previously in the race, Gordon was forced to pit several laps earlier than the field due to similar fuel-mileage issues and was caught on pit road when a tire got away from another team and rolled across pit road into the infield.
"What a disappointing finish to what should've been a top-five day for the No. 7 Jim Beam Black Chevrolet," Gordon said. "I couldn't believe it when the caution put us one lap down the first time, and I was totally blown away that it happened to us a second time at the end. I think it has happened to us about four times already this year, and the yellow has become this team's worst enemy. But we're determined to push forward and continue to put top-five cars on track each and every week. If there's one thing I can say about this team, we never give up no matter the hand we're dealt. I've spent enough time at Harrah's playing cards to know that if you stay in the game long enough things will inevitably even out and some of the breaks will start going our way."
And the proof of that determined mind-set is in the numbers as Gordon scored the second-highest amount of green flag passes during the course of the 500-mile race with 73.
"We've proven time and time again this season that we can compete against and beat some of the best teams in the Nextel Cup garage, and I know we'll bring an equally fast car to Phoenix in two weeks," Gordon said. "I'm looking forward to bringing home our best finish this season and better last year's eighth-place run. With a little bit of luck on our side, we should be a strong contender for our first win."
After this weekend's hiatus for the Easter holiday, Gordon and the No. 7 Jim Beam Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS will return to the West Coast for the Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 22. Green flag racing action will be broadcast at 8 p.m. EDT from the one-mile speedway on FOX and MRN affiliates nationwide.