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No. 31 Cingular Wireless
Race Report

Date: Aug. 30, 2003
Location/Event: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway/Mountain Dew Southern 500
Start: 25th
Finish: 28th
Points Position: 12th (dropped two spots in the standings)

Race Recap
Darlington Raceway has earned its nicknames, the Track Too Tough to Tame and The Lady in Black, over the past 54 years because of the difficulty in getting around the 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval.

High hopes for a top-10 finish in the Southern 500 came to an abrupt end with 35 laps remaining in the 367-lap contest when a flat right-rear tire forced ninth-place running Robby Gordon and the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet into the wall outside turn one. The team made repairs to get the car back onto the track but a harder shot into the wall with less than 30 laps remaining ended the team’s day.

Gordon had made a steady charge through the field from his 25th qualifying position. He moved into 20th place by lap 30 and into 15th on lap 59. Patience and strong pit stops kept him in the top 15 throughout the middle and later stages of the race. Gordon cracked the top 10 on lap 282, dropped back to 11th on lap 286 but moved back into 10th on lap 302.

The Cingular Wireless team was seventh with 50 laps to go and had settled into a solid ninth-place run to the checkered flag when the right-rear tire went flat on lap 332.

Gordon Quotes
"We cut a tire or something. We didn’t hit the wall so I must have run over something. I went down into turn one and the car just got completely sideways on me. I’m really disappointed because the Cingular Wireless Chevy was running really well and it looked like we were set to finally get a good finish here."