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Event Preview Fact Sheet

Event/Date: Carolina Dodge Dealers 400/March 16, 2003

Venue: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway

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

Date

Start

Finish

Laps Completed/

Total Laps

Status

Money

9/1/02

22

17

367/367

Running

$90,556

3/17/02

28

34

249/293

Running

64,321

3/18/01

38

29

288/293

Running

33,140

3/19/00

40

28

289/293

Running

25,095

8/31/97

34

22

363/367

Running

25,305

3/23/97

38

34

232/293

Accident

17,185

TOTALS Avg. Start: 33.3 Avg. Finish: 27.3 Laps: 1,788/1,906 Money: $255,602

NASCAR Winston Cup Points Position: 17th

NOTES:

  • This Week’s Race Car (chassis No. 99) was last run at Phoenix last November. It since has been reconfigured in the 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo body style. Gordon also raced the car at Atlanta and Richmond during the second half of the 2002 season.
  • The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 will be broadcast live on FOX and MRN on Sunday, March 16th at 1 p.m. EST. Qualifying is scheduled for Friday, March 14th at 3:05 p.m. EST.

ROBBY GORDON QUOTES:

“Darlington doesn’t have anything in common with any other track except for maybe Rockingham due to the tire wear at both tracks. It’s the toughest track considering how far the tires fall off after one or more laps. The new tires at Darlington have so much more grip than older tires. Plus, we run an entirely different line on the track at Darlington than we do anywhere else. The best groove is right up against the wall, especially in turns one and two — not the most comfortable place to be. It’s a very narrow track so it’s hard to stay that close to the wall without brushing it. We never make a point to go to any other track and run right up against the wall like we do at Darlington.

“Last year we had a really good race car but I got into the wall about four times. I didn’t wreck but leaned on the wall too hard too many times. So this year, the Cingular team is making some modifications to the race car like putting some wood in the right-side door so that if I do get into the wall, it doesn’t knock the toe out of the car. But who hasn’t come out of there without a ‘Darlington stripe?’ Just look at the wall at the end of practice one day and you’ll see how difficult it is to stay off the wall at Darlington.

“You have to drive Darlington so reservedly. You can’t ‘hotrod’ around the track all day — maybe just for the first lap. You really have to finesse Darlington and roll the throttle nice and slow to take care of your tires. It’s been that way for years. I’m still fairly new at that but I’m catching on and learning to run Darlington more successfully.

“Running well at Darlington takes a lot of patience. I really worked hard last season on learning patience for places like Darlington. If you’re not patient, you’ll end up with the right side of your car smashed in or your tires bald in a couple of laps. Darlington is murder on those Goodyear tires. Rockingham is the only track close to Darlington in this department and both tracks can kill a new set of tires in a couple of laps. We’ll try to conserve the tires all day because they get gobbled up fast. A lot of drivers talk about wanting to win Darlington because it’s such a storied, historical race track. I’d like to win at Darlington just to prove to everyone that I do have the patience to survive there. They don’t call it the ‘Lady in Black’ for nothing. Darlington is a narrow, rough and old race track. It’s pretty nerve-wracking to run 400 miles at Darlington. One lap takes enough concentration, let alone 293 of them.”

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