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5/12/01 – Front Row, Finally!

SPEEDWAY, Ind., (May 12, 2001) – Robby Gordon did something he hasn’t been able to do at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in six previous trips by qualifying on the front row Saturday for the May 27th Indianapolis 500. Driving the #41 Team Conseco/CD-2 Dallara, Gordon waited until late in the day to post a four-lap average speed of 224.994mph, which was good for third on the starting grid. Gordon shares the front row with pole-sitter Scott Sharp of Kelley Racing, and former Team Menard teammate Greg Ray.

Gordon’s warm-up was one of the keys to his fast run, something that caught him by surprise…

“I thought we had a real shot of getting the pole," exclaimed Gordon following the run. "We waited until weather conditions were ideal. My fastest lap was my warm-up lap. My warm-up lap surprised me. The car was loose going into Turn 1 on the first lap. I tightened the bar two notches for the second lap. Then I had to back it off one more notch because I had to let off. Then on lap three I loosened the bar some more. The big advantage to being up front is I’ve seen accidents happen back in the middle. I’m going to beat Greg Ray into Turn 1 this year. I am excited to be in the front row. A.J. (Foyt) knows how to make a car go fast. We’re going to work on our race setup. My race strategy is to go out, sit back and cruise. With 75 to 50 laps to go to I’ll turn it up. There are a lot of obstacles to get around. You have to have a little luck because you still have 10 pit stops.”

Gordon was the 27th qualifying attempt of the day, beginning his run at 4:52 p.m.

Lap times for the four laps were as follows:

Lap 1: 39.8247 ­ 225.990mph

Lap 2: 39.9351 ­ 225.366mph

Lap 3: 40.1265 ­ 224.291mph

Lap 4: 40.1180 ­ 224.338mph

Total Time: 2:40.0043

Avg Speed: 224.994mph

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©2001 Robby Gordon.