Tracy Gordon took his eighth top ten finish in the first eleven races of the NASCAR Busch North Series when he brought his Tic Tac Chevrolet home tenth in Saturday's New England 125 held at New Hampshire International Speedway. Gordon now stands...
Tracy Gordon took his eighth top ten finish in the first eleven races of the NASCAR Busch North Series when he brought his Tic Tac Chevrolet home tenth in Saturday's New England 125 held at New Hampshire International Speedway. Gordon now stands fifth in the championship standings, still within striking distance of the title.
The Steve May-led Gordon Racing crew spent a busy Thursday chasing the setup of the car in a pair of practice sessions, finally settling on a setup for qualifying and recording the 16th-best time. Gordon, after qualifying, was still thinking about making changes to the car before Saturday's race.
"I'm just not happy with it," he said. "We've been chasing the car and never really got to try the stuff we were supposed to try. We tried three sets of shocks but didn't give any of them a fair shake. We're behind the eight-ball today, but we'll bang our heads together tonight and find out what we want to do for tomorrow to get it ready."
It took 25 laps of the race for Gordon to fight his way to tenth in the standings, and six laps later, under caution, he joined the leaders on pit road for adjustments and right side tires. Two lead lap cars did not pit, and Gordon restarted the race outside the top ten. He was back in tenth before halfway, and worked his way up to seventh. Track conditions were worsening with the newly-applied sealer coming apart and Gordon had difficulty finding a line to run in, and fell back to eleventh at the checkers. A penalty assessed to another competitor knocked him out of the top ten, and put Gordon tenth in the final rundown.
"The car started off like a rocket, then we ended up tightening up a little too much," he said after the race. "We came in and took on tires and it wasn't quite as good after we took on tires. I don't know what the deal was, I don't know if maybe the stagger tightened up. The track ripped up and when it ripped up I couldn't run my line and it really hurt me bad. I tried to run outside and I lost about five spots. Every time I got up a little high I ended up losing four or five spots. I can't be totally disappointed but we had a better car than we finished. The track ripping up really made it interesting. If a guy got stuck out there in the marbles, he was really screwed.
"I have to figure out what I need to do a little bit better," Gordon said, thinking about the third and final visit the series will visit this track in September. "We're close now. For the first thirty laps the car was the best it's gone this weekend, then it just tightened up. The track ripping up really hurt me because I couldn't run my line, that really hurt me. If I could hook my tires right around that apron it would just steer me right around the turn."
Gordon will race this Friday night as the Busch North Series makes the second of three visits to Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway, a track where Gordon ran well last month but got caught up in an accident and did not finish.