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Event Preview Fact Sheet

Event/Date: Pennsylvania 500/July 27, 2003

Venue: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway

Robby Gordon’s NASCAR Winston Cup Performance History at Pocono Raceway

Laps Completed/

Date Start Finish Total Laps Status Money

6/8/03 37 28 199/200 Running $72,377

7/28/02 27 25 174/175 Running 67,171

6/9/02 26 19 199/200 Running 68,371

7/29/01 36 28 198/200 Running 64,414

6/20/97 30 42 0/200 Engine 17,450

TOTALS Avg. Start: 31.2 Avg. Finish: 28.4 Laps: 770/975 Money: $289,783

NASCAR Winston Cup Points Position: 14th (22 points out of 10th)


  • This Week’s Race Car (chassis No. 82) was run earlier this year at Dover, where Gordon raced it to a ninth-place finish
  • Gordon and crew chief Kevin Hamlin’s first race together was at Pocono in June 2002
  • Gordon is throwing out the First Pitch Wednesday for the Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field. Gordon’s appearance results from Cingular Wireless’ sponsorship of the Braves.


“The Cingular Wireless team and all the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) teams usually go to Pocono with a fairly conservative engine package. I don’t know if that’s what has hurt us there the past two races or not. It’s a 500-mile race, so we have to do a lot of downshifting, and engine revolutions go higher than normal under downshifts, especially into the tunnel turn. So, we go to Pocono with a little different mindset than we do some of the others.

“It’s not like this is a physical race for the drivers to drive. Honestly, the straightaways are so long at Pocono that you have time to look around and see who is around you. There are three completely different corners, so the chances of passing somebody are better than at most tracks, because everybody picks a corner and says, ‘I’m going to take turn three and work on it.’ Most people do take turn three because it’s such a long straightaway. They get their car right for negotiating turn three, and they don’t worry about turn one or turn two as much as they do turn three. It’s a little bit of a compromise race track.

“I think a 400-mile race at Pocono instead of 500 would probably be okay, but there’s nothing wrong with a 500-mile race. Yes, it is a very long day at Pocono and the race wreaks havoc on the equipment. But a part of this Winston Cup championship is about survival, and it’s not only a driver championship, it’s a team championship. You can’t make any mistakes on race day.

“The Cingular team is really looking forward to the rest of this season. We’re knocking on the door of the top 10 in points and would have been securely in there if we hadn’t gotten wrecked at Daytona. We’ve got some really good tracks for us coming up, such as Indy and Watkins Glen. Pocono might be a struggle because we haven’t seemed to have figured out that place yet but if we can improve there and still gain some points, we’ll be in good shape.

“I like Pocono but unfortunately, we’ve not had good results there with the Cingular team. I’ve always thought Pocono is similar to a road course but we’ve always struggled there a bit late in the race. I expected my road course experience to help me at Pocono but that just hasn’t materialized yet. We get ourselves in the top 10 during the race but can’t pull it out in the end. We’re going to work hard this week and see if we can learn from our past mistakes.

“I think Pocono is going to be a good weekend for the Cingular Wireless team because we get stronger and more competitive each week. We have battled back hard the past two months to break into the top 10 in points. If we can build on these recent experiences, we’ll be there at the end of the season and hopefully get to pull this Cingular car into Victory Lane. We’ve got a saying that you’ve got to position yourself to run up front. Lately we’ve been doing that. We’ve been finishing in the top 10 or really close to it. If you do that enough times, the door will open and you’ll find yourself in Victory Lane.

“I like the style of driving at Pocono because we shift gears so much there. I enjoy shifting because of all the road racing and off-road racing I’ve done. Shifting is almost more normal for me than not shifting like we’re used to in Winston Cup. Pocono has three unique corners and you have to get through all turns really well in order to be strong. If you’re capable of being good in only one turn, you want it to be turn three because it’s the last one going onto the long, front straightaway.

“Turn three is a very flat, long, increasing radius turn. It’s not a standard, 180-degree turn like we’re used to. It’s a lot different and quite tricky but you’ve got to be good there because it leads to the frontstretch. The frontstretch is a great place to pass other cars before going into turn one. There’s more opportunity to pass on the Pocono frontstretch than at most other tracks.”