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Event Preview Fact Sheet

Event/Date: Virginia 500/April 13, 2003

Venue: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway

Robby Gordon’s NASCAR Winston Cup Performance History at Martinsville Speedway

Date

Start

Finish

Laps Completed/

Total Laps

Status

Money

10/20/02

12

23

498/500

Running

$66,631

04/14/02

11

34

481/500

Vibration

65,611

10/14/01

28

38

442/500

Running

61,799

04/09/00

42

40

425/500

Rear End

21,650

04/20/97

40

41

395/500

Accident

7,075

TOTALS Avg. Start: 26.6 Avg. Finish: 35.2 Laps: 2,240/2,500 Money: $222,766

NASCAR Winston Cup Points Position: 13th

NOTES:

  • This Week’s Race Car (chassis No. 103) was last run at Las Vegas. It was also tested at Caraway Speedway and at Homestead and Kentucky in December 2002.
  • Gordon is scheduled to test at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway on April 15 and 16
  • The Virginia 500 will be broadcast live on FX and MRN on Sunday, April 13 at 1 p.m. EST. Qualifying is scheduled for Friday, April 11 at 3:05 p.m. EST.

ROBBY GORDON QUOTES:

“The Cingular team was really strong at Martinsville last October but we shot ourselves in the foot. We moved right through the field when the race started and got up to the second position within 150 or so laps. But we made the decision to follow leader Tony Stewart into the pits during a caution and no one else pitted with us. That put us in 19th behind a bunch of traffic and the car got tight behind that many cars. We struggled the rest of the day and ended up 23rd. We know what we need for the set-up on the car this year. We just need to make sure we make smart calls on pit road all day that put us where we need to be and the car will hopefully be strong enough to stay up front.

“Martinsville is a great track because the racing is so tight and the quarters so close. Bristol and Martinsville are often two of the best races of the year because we’re all cramped up in such a small space on the track for 500 laps. It’s hard not to let your emotions get the best of you when you’ve got guys beating and banging on you all day. Your patience is just about shot by the end. Not only do drivers have to control their race cars for 500 laps at Martinsville, they’ve got to control their tempers for 500 laps. Sometimes that is the biggest challenge of all.

“I compare the turns at Martinsville to the hairpin turn on the road course at Sonoma, except you’re turning right at Sonoma. Martinsville is like two hairpin turns in a row that make up an oval. Martinsville’s got the sharpest and flattest corners on the circuit. Martinsville seems like it’s smaller than Bristol, although it isn’t, because the track is so flat and before you know it, you’re back at the same, sharp corner again.

“I think the flat tracks are very good for me and they’re a lot like road racing. We’ve run fairly decent the last couple of times at Martinsville but haven’t come out with really good finishes. We were one of the quickest cars in Happy Hour there last October and hopefully we can have a car just as competitive but be there at the end.

“We’ve all heard talk of NASCAR moving one of Martinsville’s dates to another venue. I can understand why they would consider doing that because Martinsville doesn’t hold very many people and there are so many tracks we go to in that general area. But Martinsville is also a great short track that produces some terrific races. I really enjoy Martinsville, even though it’s a tough race. Martinsville takes you back to the roots of NASCAR and Saturday night racing and I’m probably not alone when I say I’d miss racing there twice a year.

“We’re about 20-percent of the way through the season right now and we’re 13th in points but we’re all right there together from about 10th to 20th. It’s feasible that we could be ninth next week or 18th. Our goal for the year is to be in the top 10 at the end and if we have solid, top-10 runs each week, that will happen. But we got behind the curve at the beginning of the season at Richard Childress Racing and have struggled in our body department. The information we gathered with our 2003 car at Kentucky wasn’t valuable information that we could use at other race tracks. We built bodies for other tracks based on Kentucky but once we went to other tracks, we weren’t as competitive. The Cingular Wireless car was loose entering the corners, as you saw at Texas. Kevin Harvick and Jeff Green both got new bodies on their car at Texas and were very competitive. I am getting my new body for Fontana, the next downforce track, and am looking forward to it because the Cingular team should be good there with the new body. In our fabrication shop, the three teams alternate when we get new cars or bodies that come out of the fab shop. When Texas rolled around, it just so happened that it wasn’t my turn and we had finally hit on something with the new bodies. So, I should have what I need at Fontana and from there on out.”

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