Tracy Gordon Accomplishes Top-Five Goal At NHIS, Inches Closer To Top Fifteen In Points Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 16, 2006) - The odds that a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series team might finish the season in the top fifteen in points...
Tracy Gordon Accomplishes Top-Five Goal At NHIS, Inches Closer To Top Fifteen In Points
Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 16, 2006) - The odds that a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series team might finish the season in the top fifteen in points after missing three of the first four races are steep. But the Woodworks Racing team and driver Tracy Gordon are within sight of that goal with two races to go after Gordon steered the No. 33 Ford Taurus to a fifth place finish in Saturday's Sylvania 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Gordon is now eighteenth, up three spots, in series points, and just 56 points out of fifteenth. Good runs at the two remaining races - at Dover International Speedway and Lime Rock Park - could allow him to reach fifteenth, and qualify for the annual Toyota NASCAR All-Star Showdown later in the year.
At New Hampshire, rain cut short the amount of practice held on Thursday as well as eliminating qualifying. q Gordon started the race in the 25th spot, behind the top 20 in points and four previous champions, and went to work. He pitted with the leaders on lap 20 for fuel only and restarted deep in the field as there were a number of cars that did not pit. Cautions plagued the race and it was run only three or four laps at a time before being slowed once again. But through those brief periods of racing, Gordon took advantage to move up in the standings.
The Strong, Maine driver was back in the top ten sixty laps into the race, which was scheduled to go 125 laps but that was in jeopardy as cautions stretched the race time to the point where it might have to be shortened. When race control announced to teams that there were just fifteen laps to go, making it a 102-lap race, Gordon went to work. He went from ninth to seventh before the final caution of the event set up a green-white checker finish. In those final two laps, Gordon picked up a pair of positions to finish fifth.
"I wasn't as aggressive as I wanted to be," he said after the race. "I think I was faster than Kelly [Moore, the race winner]. We ran together early in the race and I was faster than him then. But I never quite made it that close to the front. It was good for the team to get another top-five. I had to keep my aggressiveness in check and I think it paid off because a lot of guys were overaggressive and they wound up in wrecks. The team worked hard, they gave me a good car and we'll have a good car to go to Dover."
Dover International Speedway is the site of the series' next race, and having a good speedway car for that track is paramount for teams that want to be competitive at the high-banked one-mile oval. Gordon brought the Woodworks/Archer Corporation Ford home with very little to fix after New Hampshire, so the team will have few repairs to make in the few days before having to leave for Delaware.
"I had that in the back of my mind from the minute we got here on Thursday because I don't want to run the other car at Dover," Gordon said. "Everybody else was going crazy, going three-wide and four-wide, beating and banging on each other and I just kept it down low, running my line, and we brought the car home with just one little dent in it. I really wanted a win this week, but maybe we'll go to Dover and do it."