Tracy Gordon Takes Woodworks Racing Ford To Fourth Place NHIS Finish Loudon, N.H. (July 14, 2006) - Tracy Gordon gave the No. 33 Woodworks Racing/Archer Corporation Ford a ride during Friday's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series...
Tracy Gordon Takes Woodworks Racing Ford To Fourth Place NHIS Finish
Loudon, N.H. (July 14, 2006) - Tracy Gordon gave the No. 33 Woodworks Racing/Archer Corporation Ford a ride during Friday's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series New England 125, starting tenth but racing his way into the top five to finish fourth while still gaining on the leaders. It's the second top-five finish for the Woodworks team in 2006, equaling the team's finish at Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway in June.
Setting the second-fastest time in Thursday's practice, Gordon then went out for qualifying where he was tenth fastest. In Friday morning's final practice, though, there were concerns as the car's handling had changed.
"We were a little bit loose in the last practice," he said. "We were good but when we made that last little run it was a little too loose and now we're a little concerned. We won't mess with it too much because we'll start second-guessing ourselves. I never got a good long run in any of the practice but we should be all right in the race."
Gordon was racing in ninth place when caution came out on lap 18. This brought most of the field onto pit road for the fuel stop that would get Gordon to the race's finish. He restarted deep in the field, behind a handful of cars that hadn't pitted. But it only took twenty laps for him to re-enter the top ten. There he raced both Jerry Marquis and Ryan Seaman for sixth place, a battle that went on for thirty laps.
Gordon finally passed Seaman after a lap 103 restart and set off for the top five. He passed polesitter Brian Hoar for fifth, then engaged Eddie MacDonald in a battle for fourth. He made that pass with just seven laps to go, and tried chasing down third place Marquis while the two were both running down the two leaders. But laps ran out and Gordon took fourth place at the end of 125 laps.
"Circumstances being different, we'd have had the car to beat at the end of the race," he said after the race. "In the middle stages of the race we were probably a third or fourth place car, but after the sun started going down she was the car to beat. It was really motoring in the end thanks to the whole crew.
"We had to work to get by some cars but we got by them," the Strong, Maine driver continued. "Some of them were drifting real high in the turns while my car would stick right on the bottom, which was what I needed to do. At the end, everyone was going way up the track and I could stick on the bottom. Some of them frustrated me because they were running right where I needed to be, they were taking my line away from me."
Gordon was running down the leaders when laps wound down, but he knew if he could have got on their back bumpers, he would have had a real shot at the win.
"We were gaining hard," he said. "I had to mess around with Eddie MacDonald just a little too long and that cost me time and laps. I wanted hard to get up there because in those last few laps I was getting through three and four like a bear. I was hoping I could be up there so I could join the lead battle and take a shot at the win. We were getting through that turn better than any car. I would lose a little bit in one and two but I'd get it back and more in three and four."