Tracy Gordon Takes Fourth at Stafford Strong, Maine's Tracy Gordon used to consider Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway a sort of a nemesis, a track he has struggled at in the past. He put that behind him, though, when he qualified seventh ...
Tracy Gordon Takes Fourth at Stafford
Strong, Maine's Tracy Gordon used to consider Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway a sort of a nemesis, a track he has struggled at in the past. He put that behind him, though, when he qualified seventh and finished fourth in Friday night's ASB 150, the second of three trips to the half-mile. Gordon's fourth top-five finish of the season moved him from fifth to third in the NASCAR Busch North Series championship standings.
The Tic Tac Chevrolet driver was one of many drivers surprised when he arrived at the track and was informed that there would be a change in tire compound required for the right-side tires, in response to tire troubles experienced by almost every driver last time at Stafford. This led to spending the 90-minute afternoon practice fine-tuning the setup for the harder compound right-side tires.
Qualifying found Gordon seventh fastest after turning a lap of 20.150 seconds (89.330 MPH).
"We're kind of disappointed," he said after qualifying. "We had gotten down in to the 19.90s in practice there, and didn't back it up. The track slowed down a little bit, and we went out early.
"A lot of people say this track doesn't change but we've tightened up before and we've loosened up before," Gordon continued, speaking of how the track changes from afternoon to night. "It all depends on how much dew we get. If we get a lot of dew on the window we'll end up being loose. We'll be a little squirrelly because of the tire change, but we should be able to go the whole distance without changing tires, that'll be a plus."
Gordon did indeed go the whole distance without changing tires, and once he got into the top five 37, never fell out of it. He ran as high as second from lap 90 to lap 111 behind eventual winner Martin Truex, Jr., but settled for fourth at the checkers.
Gordon's last few laps were remarkable as a piece of lead fell off another car and was kicked up into his, doing significant damage to the hood, cowl, windshield and dashboard right in front of the driver. Gordon was unhurt.
"This is the first time we ran this car anywhere but Loudon," he said after the race. "We're happy with how the car went. We should have tightened it up just a little bit, but overall it was pretty decent.
"I didn't have any problems with the tires," Gordon continued. "It was just a little bit loose the whole race. It came in pretty decent there for a little while, but then it went back to the loose side again. But we're pretty happy. I'd like to have a top three or win the thing. I thought when I was in second for a while I might be able to challenge for the win, but Martin was just too strong. He was pulling me everywhere - getting in and getting out, and more horsepower."
The Gordon racing team now looks forward to next Saturday night's race, a 150-lap event held at Seekonk Speedway in southeast Massachusetts. In the first visit to the "Cement Palace", Gordon started tenth but finished second.
"We're going back to Seekonk and that's a good track for me," he said.
For more information on Gordon Racing, visit its website at http://www.tracygordon.com.