Tracy Gordon Rebounds From NHIS Troubles To Post Top Ten At Dover (Dover, Del. - Sept. 24, 2004) - Strong, Maine's Tracy Gordon and the Woodworks Racing Team might had their share of troubles last weekend, when they finished 22nd in Monday's ...
Tracy Gordon Rebounds From NHIS Troubles To Post Top Ten At Dover
(Dover, Del. - Sept. 24, 2004) - Strong, Maine's Tracy Gordon and the Woodworks Racing Team might had their share of troubles last weekend, when they finished 22nd in Monday's Sylvania 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway, but they rebounded strongly in the days following that event, taking an eighth place finish in Friday's MBNA America 150 at Dover International Speedway to end their season.
The Fred and Elaine Skaff-owned team quickly turned around the car from its flat NHIS track setup to one for the steeply banked Dover track, and with the more track time they got at the Delaware oval, the better they got. Sixteenth in the first practice session, and eleventh in the second, they continued improving through qualifying as Gordon took the tenth position on the grid after a fast lap of 25.003 seconds (143.983 MPH) in time trials.
"It's a lot better than last week," he said after qualifying. "I'd have liked to have won the pole, but we're in the top ten, so we're making strides. We've done a pile of changes to the car all day, and with every change the car gets better. Hopefully we'll do a long run in the last practice and see what we've got for the race. I think we've found out what the problem was at Loudon, though the setups are so different between Loudon and here that it's hard to tell. I'm optimistic, I'm ready to race."
Despite going down a lap to the leaders right at the race's halfway point, Gordon was still running in the top fifteen. Caution slowed the pace on lap 81, allowing everyone to bring their cars to pit road for tires and fuel. Gordon's crew returned him to the race in eighteenth place.
Running twelfth with just a few laps to go, Gordon was in twelfth but took advantage of wrecks and mechanical problems occurring to cars in front of him to move up to tenth after a pair of green-white-checker restarts brought the race to its conclusion after going ten laps beyond the scheduled distance.
"We needed a little more grip," Gordon said after the race. "We've got a good starting setup for next year, something we can fine-tune with shocks and things. Every change we did all week got the car better and better, and we ended up with a top-ten finish. The guys on the crew are happy, and if they're happy, I'm happy. They worked really hard, I was surprised at how hard they worked. It's a good team, a great team to drive for, and they have a lot of potential to do really well down the road. I've got to thank them for putting me in the car, and the whole crew for all their hard work. They wouldn't let me touch the car. Every time I tried to work on the car they told me to get away from the car, and I'm used to working on my own cars.
"I got the nose all punched in on the of the late restarts," Gordon continued. "We got lucky because we didn't tape up the whole bottom grille, and with the nose beat in we would have overheated if we taped the bottom up completely. It was a pretty good run. I got put down a lap early, because the top guys were just flying. They have south stuff, and south stuff works here. We've got to get with some south guys to find out what they're doing so we can take that next step."
Dover was the last race of the Woodworks Racing/Archer Corp. team's 2004 season. Between Gordon and Fred Skaff, the team raced six times, with Skaff enjoying a best finish of eighteenth at Thompson International Speedway in July. Gordon's Dover race was his best of the year. For more information, visit www.woodworksracing.com.