Event Preview Fact Sheet
Event/Date: Checker Auto Parts 500/Nov. 2, 2003
Venue: Phoenix International Raceway
Robby Gordon’s NASCAR Winston Cup Performance
History at Phoenix International Raceway
TOTALS Avg. Start: 27.66 Avg. Finish: 25.33 Laps:
756/936 Money: $174,345
NASCAR Winston Cup Points Position: 16th
- This Week’s Race Car (chassis No. 118) was
last run as a No. 30 AOL Chevrolet chassis at Loudon in September
and Pocono in July
- Gordon tested this car at Phoenix Oct. 21-22
- Gordon is taking his Robby Gordon Off-Road
built sand-car to Phoenix (which he will use to pre-run the Baja
1000 course) He will race his actual trophy truck in the Baja
1000 as the No. 31 Red Bull Trophy Truck.
- Gordon will pre-run the Baja 1000 course Nov.
- Gordon drew the 20th starting position for
the Baja 1000
- Gordon won the April 1995 PPG Indycar World
Series at Phoenix
- Gordon started seventh and finished seventh
in the April 1994 CART race at Phoenix
- The Checker Auto Parts 500 will be broadcast
live on NBC and MRN on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Qualifying
is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 31 at 4:05 p.m. EDT.
ROBBY GORDON QUOTES:
"The Cingular Wireless team tested at Phoenix a couple of
weeks ago. We worked on a lot of race car stuff, such as simply
changing things around and trying to get a feel for what did what
to our race car. We tried different springs, different spindles
and pretty much everything you can think of. We made incremental
changes just so we’ll have a baseline during race weekend that will
help us tune the car in just a little bit quicker.
"I do not feel as good about the test
as I would have liked because a couple of the cars ran a little
better than we did, but hopefully, we can turn around what we learned
and make a good race package out of it.
"Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks
on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. I won a CART race at Phoenix
a few years ago. I’ve always liked Phoenix because it’s a lot of
fun to race on. There are two lines, maybe three at times. There
are a lot of opportunities to pass at Phoenix, especially if you
are on the high groove. I think there might be some opportunities
for passing coming off turn two now, where before we had to go one
at a time. The 12 feet of extra space makes a huge difference in
what we will be able to do there.
"Phoenix is a pretty flat track and the
Cingular team tends to do well on flat tracks. Loudon is another
flat track but it’s different than Phoenix. The straightaways at
Phoenix aren’t as long as at New Hampshire. Loudon has long straightaways
and sharp corners. Phoenix is kind of a tri-oval the way it goes
through the back straight. It’s a lot of fun.
"Phoenix has changed so much the past
15 years. The place has really come a long way. As far as these
changes, it’s about half a second faster than it used to be. We
pick up the speed was coming off turn two now that we don’t have
that wall to hold us down. It makes a very big difference.
"The other big change is around that
new patch where the tunnel is in turn four. Right now, it has a
lot of grip, but the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet didn’t deal with
it very well in our test. That patch isn’t that bad. We pushed it
some and kind of got sideways during the test when we went to power,
but when I got on the patch, it straightened the car right up. Once
I figure that out, it can actually work for us.
"I think it’s great that tracks will
do things to make it better for drivers and fans. This track has
obviously done a few things the past couple of years to enhance
the fan experience. I know a few years back, they opened up free
parking and everyone thought they were crazy because only a handful
of people parked there. Now it’s packed. I like to see tracks make
"Phoenix has a different atmosphere than
other tracks. It’s Arizona, after all. I know that there are many
people from many different states, but the people go to Phoenix
for a good time, and not just a good race. This event comes at a
great time in the schedule, especially for the Cingular team. There
is something about the area that allows us to relax more and have
a good time. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the guys head out
there early to take advantage of the area. I will.
"I would be in favor of a second raced
date at Phoenix because it’s close to California. I still have a
house out in Orange and I don’t get out there very often. If there
is another race in Phoenix, it needs to be at night because it will
really enhance the experience for the fans here. You think they
love the race now, just wait until they see one at night."