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3/11/01 – Long Hard Day Produces Top-20 Finish

Atlanta – 3/11/01

Starting Position – 40th

Finishing Position – 20th

Laps – 323

Robby Gordon churned out a workmanlike 20th-place finish in Sunday’s Cracker Barrel 500 from the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Starting 40th, Gordon and the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team worked on the car throughout the day both during pit stops and carving different lines on the tracks.

The biggest pitfall of the day occurred on lap 159 when Gordon’s Kodak Chevrolet hit the outside wall in turn four. Gordon had been complaining about the car being especially loose in the laps leading up to the incident, citing a tire problem as the possible culprit. They decided to give it a few laps as crew chief David Ifft felt it could merely be a "buzzed tire," something that might cure itself on the track.

Only a few laps following the gamble, Gordon was in the wall. And with the right rear tire shredded following the contact, it was not known if the tire was indeed the cause. Regardless, the contact produced damage to the right rear of the car which the crew did their best to repair and Gordon continued on.

As the laps wore on in the second half of the race, Gordon slowly began to gain positions both by running a steady pace and also attrition. Early on the goal was to produce a top-25. Finishing 20th was a step up and something for both driver and team to build on as they head to Darlington and "The Track to Tough to Tame" next weekend.

The 20th-place finish is a season-best for Gordon and Morgan-McClure, moving the #4 car up to 36th position in the points chase through four races.

Robby Gordon quote:

"Well, it was a long day out there, but maybe we learned something. We definitely didn’t have the best car so we had to just run our race and made the best of it trying different things. Finishing in the top-20 isn’t a bad thing. Obviously everyone here would like to roll off the truck and be a rocketship, but that’s not the case right now. I think the only way we fix it is to run all day like we did here and find answers. Eventually we’ll get this turned around."

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©2001 Robby Gordon.