USAR: Benny Gordon to compete at GPS

Northern Champion to Make Southern Start at GPS Gordon Can't Wait Cabin Fever flushes Northern Division Champion out early Longs, SC--After a bad outing, drivers can't wait for the next race and a shot at redemption. Unfortunately for Benny...

Northern Champion to Make Southern Start at GPS

Gordon Can't Wait
Cabin Fever flushes Northern Division Champion out early

Longs, SC--After a bad outing, drivers can't wait for the next race and a shot at redemption.

Unfortunately for Benny Gordon, whose well-documented DNF in the season finale cost him the 2004 Hooters Pro Cup Championship, his next scheduled start was over 100 days away, making for a long winter of "what-ifs."

"I haven't been able to stand it," said Gordon, driver of the No. 66n Predator Performance Ford. "It was so disappointing to end the season like that. I have been wound tighter than a drum over the last few months."

Unable to wait any longer, Gordon will moonlight in the Southern Division, competing in this weekend's BFGoodrich Tires 250 at Greenville Pickens Speedway rather than wait to make his 2005 debut at South Boston on April 9.

"It's probably not the smartest thing to do," Gordon said of his out-of-division start. "We've only got one car ready."

But at least it's a good one. Gordon will pilot the car that he won five races with a year ago.

Though Gordon may have had some sleepless nights during the winter, he kept his mind occupied during the day by helping Predator Performance get its chassis and engine program off the ground.

"We had a lot going on during the winter, so it was like the season never ended," said Gordon. "The winter has flown by. We've got the chassis shop done, and we've already got two orders for our chassis. Our motor program is a little behind, but we've got one ready."

The potent powerplant was strapped into Gordon's car for the open test at GPS on Monday. And Gordon liked what he felt.

"The motor was definitely better than last year, and it had more power," said Gordon. "The car was awesome. We learned some things, and we're going to make some changes to car before the race on Saturday."

While he added a few new remarks to his notebook on Monday, Gordon, a former Ladson, S.C., resident, already has a surplus of data from his previous starts at the historic, half-mile track. In two Southeast Series starts at GPS, Gordon started from the pole both times and recorded podium finishes in both events. Despite his knowledge of the local line, the new engine and chassis program, and a chance at redemption, Gordon isn't completely happy about starting his season.

"I don't feel like we're prepared the way we should be," said Gordon. "I just don't feel we maximized our resources the way we should have during the off-season. But we started out slow last season, too."

That's not to say that Gordon isn't confident about this weekend's race. After all, Gordon and Predator Performance won a series-high seven times in 2004.

"I have 100 percent confidence that we can win at Greenville Pickens," said Gordon. "There are a lot of good newcomers in the Southern Division, but the guys that are running up front and winning are guys we had to beat last year. It's not a necessity for us to win. If we can run well, lead the race and not bang the car up, I'll be happy. I'm just so fired up to be racing again."

And hopefully putting a winter's worth of bad memories behind him.

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