To win for the first time at the Busch North Series' most high-profile track, on a Winston Cup weekend, in front of the TV cameras, is sure to be a career highlight, but for Tracy Gordon it meant even more. When Gordon mounted strong challenges...
To win for the first time at the Busch North Series' most high-profile track, on a Winston Cup weekend, in front of the TV cameras, is sure to be a career highlight, but for Tracy Gordon it meant even more. When Gordon mounted strong challenges for the Busch North title in 1999 and 2000, his mile-track program was regarded as the missing weapon in his championship arsenal. Until Saturday, his best NHIS finish was seventh, and in 19 starts his average finish was 19.32.
He managed to lead at the "Magic Mile" for the first time this May, pacing 19 laps after starting in the last row, but ended the day with a hard crash into the first turn wall after contact on a late-race restart. He finished 24th in May and 14th in July.
The New Hampshire 125 telecast on SPEED Channel, scheduled for Monday night, October 14, should not be missed. The big screens at the track showed multiple angles of the race's defining moments- Matt Kobyluck's charge up the outside on the lap 121 restart and the Kobyluck-Gordon contact in turn one on the next green flag.
While he lost five points to Andy Santerre in the Busch North Series point race, now trailing by 32, Brad Leighton won the NHIS Lincoln Welding/Merriam-Graves track championship for the third straight year and fourth in the last five. Leighton scored 525 points during the three Busch North races at NHIS this season, to 467 for Santerre and 458 for Kobyluck.
A major announcement on Saturday morning saw Mike Stefanik named to carry the Burnham Boilers colors for Grizco Racing in 2003, running as #10. Brad Leighton will remain with the team, driving the #55 on a schedule which will be announced at a later date.
Stefanik won the 1997 and 1998 Busch North Series titles under Burnham Boilers sponsorship, driving for Mike Greci's H&H Motorsports team. He owns ten Busch North Series wins, the last scored at Lime Rock Park in October 1998. He is the five-time and defending Featherlite Modified Series champion, and a strong contender for the 2002 modified crown.
Robbie Harrison clinched the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award despite sitting out the weekend with a non-racing shoulder injury. Ben Rowe ran Harrison's #23 as teammate to his dad, Mike Rowe. Ben's NHIS day wasn't memorable, finishing 21st, but he won Saturday night at White Mountain Motorsports Park.
Mike Rowe, meanwhile, scored his third straight top-ten after going since 2000 without reaching that circle.
Tracy Gordon is, of course, the third Gordon to win a NASCAR race at the "Magic Mile." Tracy from Strong, Maine is not related to either Jeff from northern California by way of Indiana or Robby from southern California.