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Cingular Wireless Racing

Weekly Racing Journal

Race/Date: UAW-GM Quality 500

Location: Lowe’s Motor Speedway

Start Position: 19th (qualifying rained out; starting field set based on

owner points)

Finish Position: 38th

Points Position: 20th

Race Recap:

Staying out of someone else’s trouble is half the battle in a Winston Cup race and it was a battle that Robby Gordon and the No. 31 Cingular Wireless team lost late in Sunday’s UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.


Bad weather wreaked havoc on the race activities all weekend, raining out Thursday’s qualifying session and forcing NASCAR officials to set the starting field based on owner points.

It was the same story Sunday. Heavy, persistent rain postponed the start of the race by about three-and-a-half hours. Finally, Gordon and the other drivers took the green flag about 4 p.m., preparing for a race under the lights on a green race track with conditions much different than during Saturday’s Happy Hour practice session.


Gordon patiently worked with the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet during the opening laps, radioing crew chief Kevin Hamlin that the car was tight. The race went green for the first 137 laps, allowing the leader to easily put cars down one lap that weren’t handling well. Gordon lost one lap on lap 50 but Team Cingular continued to work on the race car to loosen it up. Gordon fought his way back into the 27th position by lap 219 and the caution flag waved the following lap. The team pitted for four tires and chassis adjustments and good pit work picked up a couple of positions on the track for Gordon. Gordon soon radioed the crew the car was the best it had been all night and he thought he could now move it through the field easily.

But all that hard work soon went up in a puff of smoke and debris. On lap 230, the No. 26 car drove underneath two other cars and into the tri-oval grass, triggering a 10-car pile-up that involved the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet, as well as Gordon’s two Richard Childress Racing teammates. Gordon pulled the car into the garage, where the crew determined the damage was too great to safely return to racing. He was credited with the 38th position.

Gordon re-aggravated a previous injury to his left ankle in Sunday’s accident but a doctor’s examination at the infield care center determined there was no further injury. Gordon was immediately released and went back to the garage to speak with his crew.

Robby Gordon Quotes:

“I’m not really sure what happened. All I know is they were crashing in front of me. I tried to slow down and somebody clipped me in the back and turned me around backwards. It’s really disappointing. The Cingular team was trying to get a decent result out of our day and keep moving up in the points. But someone else’s mistake cost us a decent finish.

“I’m okay after the crash but my left foot is hurt a little bit. It’s just a little sore — but it’s going to be fine.”