Races & Results
Open Wheel
Dbl Duty Tour
Online Store

Weekly Racing Journal

Indianapolis/Charlotte “Double”

Race/Date: Indianapolis 500/May 25, 2003

Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Start Position: Third

Finish Position: 22nd

Race Recap:

Robby Gordon’s bid for victory in both races of the Indianapolis/Charlotte “Double” ended early at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday after a gearbox problem sidelined him on lap 169, relegating him to 22nd in the final results. Gordon started on the outside of the front row in the No. 27 Archipelago/Motorola Dallara/Honda/Firestone and ran solidly in the top five during the first 45 laps of the 200-lap event. However, during his second pit stop, the caution flag waved while Gordon was on pit lane, nearly catching him a lap down to the leader. The Archipelago/Motorola crew continued to work their way to the front until further problems on pit lane forced them back. During their next-to-last pit stop, the crew was unable to get a rear wicker out of the car in time, so Gordon was forced to return to pit road the following lap to complete the work. To add insult to injury, the car stalled during Gordon’s final pit stop and the gearbox broke three laps later. He was unable to complete the race and began his trek to the Coca-Cola 600 early.

Robby Gordon Quotes:

"The Archipelago/Motorola car drove pretty well all day. It is just unfortunate we had the

gearbox problem. We got behind early. We tried some different strategy and that kind of hurt us and I drove conservative, which also hurt us. It was very difficult to pass out there. We had just gotten back into the top 12 and then we broke something in the gearbox. We had some trouble on our second-to-last pit stop and then we stalled it on the last pit stop so we had to drive through the field a couple of times. It would have been a lot easier to run 600 miles tonight at Charlotte with a better finish.”

Race/Date: Coca-Cola 600/May 25, 2003

Location: Lowe’s Motor Speedway

Start Position: 38th (dropped to rear of field after missing drivers’ meeting)

Finish Position: 17th

Points Position: 12th (gained one position)

Race Recap:

The second leg of Robby Gordon’s Indianapolis/Charlotte “Double” ended in disappointment Sunday evening at Lowe’s Motor Speedway when rain ended the longest race of the season after only 276 laps and washed away the Cingular Wireless team’s chances of securing a top-10 finish.

Before the 600-mile event even began, Gordon was running an important relay between Indianapolis and Concord. When he fell out of the Indianapolis 500, he jumped on a golf cart for the infield care center, where an IV was started for Gordon to receive fluids. He then was driven in a car behind a police escort to his rental car parked nearby. Gordon and his guests piled into the rental car and continued behind the police escort to the Indianapolis airport where a Cessna Citation X jet was waiting. One hour later, Gordon was on the ground at the Concord airport, from where he took a helicopter into Lowe’s Motor Speedway just in time for drivers’ introductions.

Since Gordon missed the drivers’ meeting because he was still in Indianapolis, he was forced to fall to the rear of the 43-car field when the 600-mile event began. Gordon had worked the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet into the 36th position when rain began falling for the first time around lap 106. NASCAR displayed the red flag to dry the track and racing resumed a few minutes later. Gordon continued to battle a tight-handling car but a chassis adjustment made during a pit stop under caution on lap 130 seemed to free the car up, but long, green-flag runs just tightened it up again. Gordon lost a lap to the leaders while struggling with the car but the Cingular team was determined to make it up.

Crew chief Kevin Hamlin called for a few more chassis adjustments as the evening wore on and Gordon radioed in that the Cingular car was much better. He steered it into the 21st position by lap 194 and the 10th by lap 200. Gordon brought the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) machine down pit road under caution on lap 202, one lap earlier than allowed by NASCAR because the car was almost out of fuel. Team Cingular gave Gordon four fresh tires and slight chassis adjustments before NASCAR relegated him to the end of the longest line for the early pit stop, positioning Gordon 17th for the restart.

The Cingular Wireless Chevy quickly responded to those changes and was soon one of the fastest cars on the track. Gordon steered it into the 11th position by lap 244 before pitting under caution on lap 265 for four fresh tires and fender work that was made necessary after another car bumped the No. 31 machine a few laps earlier. Team Cingular elected to spend a few extra seconds in the pits and give up a couple of spots because they knew they had a car capable of making up that ground and finishing in the top five. Unfortunately, heavy rain began falling after the completion of 276 laps and NASCAR called the race 134 laps early, crediting Gordon with the 17th position.

Gordon gained one position in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings to 12th and is only 71 points out of 10th.

Robby Gordon Quotes:

“I feel great right now and I think I’ll be fine tomorrow. We came 25 laps short at Indy because of a broken gearbox, and that’s 100 miles, and we’re obviously 134 laps short at Charlotte because of rain. I would have definitely finished this race and hopefully had at least a top-10 finish if this race hadn’t been called. I think it was pretty weak that the race was called as early as it was because they could have gotten the track dried and finished up the show for the fans.

"I’m disappointed because we had a good car. I wanted to be able to finish the 600. The later and cooler it got, the better the Cingular Wireless Chevrolet was. We lost the car in the daylight but as we worked on it and the sun went down, the car got better and better. We just needed the out-front track position to get some clean air on our car. We slid around too much on old tires and tires were worth a lot tonight.

“Seventeenth place at Charlotte is pretty weak because we had a better car than that. We got lapped when the sun was out because we were too tight but we got that worked out and could have had a top-10 finish. We should have stayed out during that last caution instead of pitting to make the car closer to perfect and we would have had an 11th-place finish. I was feeling fine to go the distance for the whole 600 miles and it wouldn’t have been a problem. It was just great being able to be in both races. We had great car but it just didn’t work out at either race."