Tracy Gordon overcomes problems to post fourteenth place finish at New Hampshire. Tracy Gordon, of Strong, Maine, looked to take revenge on a New Hampshire International Speedway track that bit him hard back in May, leaving him with a heavily ...
Tracy Gordon overcomes problems to post fourteenth place finish at New Hampshire.
Tracy Gordon, of Strong, Maine, looked to take revenge on a New Hampshire International Speedway track that bit him hard back in May, leaving him with a heavily damaged race car. He succeeded in coming back and showing he was fast in his Tic Tac Chevrolet, qualifying in the top ten and racing as high as sixth, but a faulty spark plug wire caused him to ease up until the problem was fixed and he could only manage to work his way back to fourteenth at the New England 125's checkered flag.
Gordon was consistently fast in each of the three practice sessions, and backed those speeds up with an eighth-best qualifying effort after posting a lap of 30.479 seconds (124.965 MPH) around the one-mile oval, despite being one of the first cars to make a qualifying run.
"We've got a real good race car for the race, but the bad draw kind of hurt me in qualifying," he said afterwards. "We went out early when it was sunny, then it got cloudy, a breeze came up and it cooled off. I think we could have been in the top three or top five. We've got a real good race car, I think it's even a better race car than a qualifying car, so we should be able to pull off a top three finish."
Gordon was strong early in the race, and moved up to sixth place after running down and passing Andy Santerre forty-two laps in. Caution flew shortly afterwards, and Gordon caught a break because at about that time, he felt a tire going down. That was changed under yellow by the Gordon Racing crew and he was back in the race in ninth position.
Approaching the race's halfway point, Gordon felt the engine stumble and started losing positions as he backed out of the gas in case the engine was going to blow up. Quickly, he remembered a spark plug wire falling off in practice and determined that this was most likely the case now, and he rode this out until another opportunity to pit arose. One did on lap 90 and the crew quickly went under the hood to fix the problem, sending him back near the tail of the lead lap. Through the remaining thirty laps, Gordon tried to make up the positions he lost, finishing the race in fourteenth place.
"A plug wire came completely off and was laying on the frame rail," he said after the race. "I thought I was going to blow up so I slowed down, I didn't want it to blow up and me get into my own oil and wreck it, then I realized it was the plug wire because it came off in practice. It's a brand new set of wires, I guess there's one screwed up or something. I thought it was a fluke when it came off in practice, I thought we didn't get it on tight enough, and then it blew off in the race.
"I had an awesome car, I had a really good car," Gordon continued. "I was just picking my way up through before the caution and then I came in and took on tires. We caught the caution perfectly because we had a tire going flat, and I thought my luck was going to go my way because the tire was going flat as I was coming down the road. Then, twenty laps later, the plug wire comes off. I got lucky once but it didn't last. But we had an awesome car, and the whole crew did an awesome job. After that plug wire came off it was an uphill battle."
Gordon will follow the NASCAR Busch North Series to its next stop, which will take place Friday night at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.