Race/Date: New England 300/July 20, 2003
(19th of 36 races)
Location: New Hampshire International Speedway
Start Position: 15th (lined up according to points)
Finish Position: Fifth
Points Position: 14th
Add another top-five finish to Robby Gordon and
the No. 31 Cingular Wireless team’s 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup stats.
After losing second gear and battling a rough-handling car all day,
the Cingular Wireless team was fifth across the finish line for
the New England 300, marking the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing
(RCR) team’s third top-five of the 2003 season and placing them
just 22 points out of 10th place in the NASCAR Winston Cup points.
Winston Cup practice and qualifying was rained
out Friday, so the teams took to the field Sunday afternoon according
to points. Gordon started 15th, but a tight handling Cingular Wireless
race car soon sent him back to 25th place by lap 16.
Pitting during the third caution, the team took
fuel and made a track bar adjustment to loosen up the car. It was
at this point Gordon first reported losing second gear. As the race
continued, he eventually lost second gear completely and began struggling
with a loose race car.
By lap 177, posting his fastest lap time of the
day, Gordon was gaining speed. Almost 20 laps later, another caution
presented an opportunity for the Cingular Wireless team they could
not ignore. The team knew pit strategy was going to decide who would
finish at the front of the field, therefore they decided to make
a final pit stop during the caution, taking on right-side tires
and fuel. Gordon returned to the field in 11th place.
During the next few cautions, the Cingular Wireless
Chevy driver did not pit, soon propelling him into third place by
lap 212. Saving gas during the cautions that followed his last pit
stop, Gordon remained in the top five the rest of the day, landing
a fifth-place finish with teammates Kevin Harvick finishing second
and Steve Park eighth.
Gordon Gordon Quotes:
"Kevin Hamlin made an awesome call today. We didn’t have a
top-five car. We had about a 25th-place car. Any day you get out
there with a 25th-place car and make it out of here with a top-five
finish, it is total hats off to the team. We took a gamble with
the gas mileage and it paid off for us today. Coming up here this
weekend, we thought we would be real strong, but the track has changed
a lot since I won here and for some reason we just couldn’t get
off the corners. We had trouble getting into the corners and getting
off all day. So, we have a little bit of work to do before we get
back up here in September. Again, overall I’m real happy for the
guys on this Cingular Wireless team, and for my teammates, Kevin
and Steve. We gained some points this weekend and look forward to
gaining more for a top-10 finish."