BNS: Beech Ridge II: Tracy Gordon race notes

Tracy Gordon returns to Beech Ridge, scores twelfth place finish. Tic Tac Chevrolet driver Tracy Gordon ran the final short-track race of the NASCAR Busch North Series season at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, a race that was postponed by rain after...

Tracy Gordon returns to Beech Ridge, scores twelfth place finish.

Tic Tac Chevrolet driver Tracy Gordon ran the final short-track race of the NASCAR Busch North Series season at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, a race that was postponed by rain after qualifying was held two weeks ago. Starting tenth, Gordon struggled a bit with his setup on the tricky third-mile semi-banked oval, but stayed on the lead lap almost to the end of the race, recording a twelfth place finish.

In practice before qualifying on August 24th, Gordon and his Gordon Racing crew made significant changes to the car, then went out and made their qualifying attempt. The result was the tenth fastest lap in time trials, 15.796 seconds (75.969 MPH), despite a light rain falling at the time.

"It was raining harder for me than anybody else," Gordon joked afterwards. "I was hoping for better than tenth today. It was terrible when we first got here, we had to make a whole bunch of changes, and the car seems pretty decent right now. We didn't really get a lot of practice with the setup we've got in it right now, we changed all the springs, the sway bars and everything. Either way, it seems like it was a lot better than it was."

The rains continued and the race was postponed to September 7th, with the starting lineup already set since time trials were completed.

At the start of the race, Gordon already had his hands full when Kelly Moore's car broke a sway bar and was shooting sparks from under its right front corner. Moore had his hands full and as Gordon tried to pass, the two bumped and Gordon was sent high in the first turn. Gordon kept the car from spinning, but he had lost many positions.

Running fourteenth at the race's halfway point, Gordon continued on the lead lap. He was close to losing a lap to the leaders but caution on lap 93 saved him, and he pitted with the rest of the lead lap cars for tires and adjustments. He returned to the race outside the top ten, but with an improved car and fresh right-side tires.

When racing resumed, Gordon lurked just outside the top ten. He never could break back into the top ten, though, and shortly before the race ended he was put down a lap by the leaders. He finished twelfth, and maintained his seventh place standings in the season championship points.

"What I really need to do is get a drop-snout chassis," he said after the race. "We got a standard snout car because we saw what Mike Olsen [2001 BNS champion] did last year and he had a standard snout car. Now he's not doing as well, and we're not doing as well. We just struggled all the time we were here, we never got the setup right. We made a ton of changes between the practice and the race, and it didn't help that much. We used to have the setup for here, but we're struggling here now."

Gordon was already looking forward to the races coming up in the next two weeks.

"We'll fix this car up and take it to Loudon next week," he said, "and the other car's ready to go do Dover the week after that. We've had good runs at Loudon, hopefully we'll keep that up next week."

New Hampshire International Speedway, in Loudon, New Hampshire is the site of the next Busch North race, which will be held September 14th, one day before the NASCAR Winston Cup Series takes to that track.

-ajc-

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