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Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix

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Darnell99Fan
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« on: November 08, 2007, 04:01:34 pm »

~RobbyGordon.com

Menards/Mapei Phoenix Advance   


Robby Gordon

No. 7 Menards / Mapei Ford Fusion

Race Preview 

Event/Date: Checker Auto Parts 500 – November 11, 2007

Venue: Phoenix International Raceway – Avondale, AZ

TV/Radio: ABC, 1:30 p.m. MST, MRN Radio, 1:30 p.m. MST

 

·    New Hood, Same Sponsor –The No. 7 Menards / Mapei Ford Fusion will once again feature Mapei’s newest product, Opticolor stain-free grout. Optiocolor stain-free grout is an innovative new grout that is easy for the installer to apply and easy for the homeowner or property owner to maintain. Opticolor stain-free grout also comes in 14 new colors, giving a total of 36 colors that provide the optimum in good looks for tile installations. Opticolor adds a new dimension to MAPEI’s repertoire of optimum-performance products. Jim Beam and Motorola will serve as associates.

·   Car of Tomorrow – This will be the final appearance of the Car of Tomorrow for the 2007 season before it takes over full time in 2008. Gordon will compete in chassis No. 205, last raced at New Hampshire in September. Chassis No. 201 will serve as back up. 

·   Points Position – Robby Gordon and his No. 7 Ford Fusion are currently 28th in NASCAR Nextel Cup owner point standings, only 152 points out of 25th.

·  Phoenix Double Duty – Robby will not only compete in the Cup series this weekend, he will also race in the Busch series for Brewco Motorsports in the No. 27 Kleenex Ford Fusion on Saturday.

·   Baja 1000 - Robby will race in the 40th Annual Tecate / Score Baja 1000 starting on Tuesday, November 10th. Gordon hopes to add another Baja victory to his racing resume as he wheels his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires trophy truck through the Mexican terrain. As part of this year’s race and a new RGM tradition, Gordon will also take his Nextel Cup crew south of the border, so they will have a better understanding of his passion for off-road racing and where his roots are planted.

·   Meet the Driver - Robby will be making many appearances around the track this weekend. He will appear on the PIR after Dark stage at 8:30 on Friday night. On Sunday, he will be at his merchandise trailer on Sunday at 9:15 am.

 


 
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 05:01:27 pm »

~RobbyGordon.com

Robby Gordon

No. 7 Menards/Mapei Ford Fusion

Post Race Report

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (November 13, 2007) – Robby Gordon and the No. 7 Menards/Mapei crew worked hard to get the best finishing position possible and build some momentum heading into the last race of the season.  Gordon also hoped to have some fun in the desert this weekend before heading south of the border to compete in the Baja 1000 on Tuesday. 


Gordon started the afternoon in the 39th position, but quickly started racing through the field.  By lap 10, Gordon worked his way up to the 33rd position.  His car was developing a tight condition, and Gordon was having trouble seeing through the oil-spattered windshield after one of his competitors leaked oil on the track. 


The yellow flag came out on lap 25 allowing the No. 7 crew to service Gordon’s car during the caution period.  The team went down one round in the left rear and took off a windshield tear off.  The crew only changed right side tires and quickly sent Gordon off pit road in an effort to gain track position. 

 
The NASCAR officials noticed a rule violation (equipment outside of the box), when the front tire rolled out of the No. 7 team’s pit during the stop and ordered Gordon to the tail end of the longest line.  Since the team was going to start in the back anyway, crew chief, Peter Sospenzo called Gordon down pit road to get fresh left side tires.  After initially leaving pit road in the 30th position, the team restarted the race in the 41st position. 

 
Starting in the back of the field left Gordon as an easy target for the leaders.  By lap 71, the leaders passed Gordon, putting him one lap down.  He continued racing his competitors to become the first car one lap down and be in the “lucky dog” position. 

 The caution flag flew on lap 85, but Gordon wasn’t high enough in the running order to receive the lucky dog.  Sospenzo called Gordon down pit road to service the car.  Gordon said that the Menards/Mapei Fusion was tight around the bottom of the track, especially late in the run.  The crew made an air pressure adjustment and put one round in the right side wedge bolt.  The crew did a great job and gave Gordon a really fast stop.  Gordon headed back out to the track second in the running for the lucky dog position. 

 
Gordon stayed on the track during the lap 96 caution period, and continued to race among the leaders.  NASCAR called a caution for debris on lap 107; this time Gordon was finally scored as the first car one lap down.  The lucky dog gave Gordon the chance to take his fast Fusion back into contention for the win.  Before the restart, Gordon brought the No. 7 Menards/Mapei Fusion down pit road for four fresh tires.  The car was getting fast lap times and handling great, so the team made no adjustments. 

 
Sospenzo called Gordon back down pit road under the caution period on lap 119.  The crew serviced the Menards/Mapei Fusion with four fresh tires.  The car was still handling well and the crew did not make any adjustments.  Gordon restarted the race in the 24th position. 


Gordon came over the radio on lap 133 and told the crew that the car was way too loose.  The car was loose everywhere on the track, and Gordon was just riding around trying to hold on. 
 

The yellow flag finally came out on lap 138.  Despite the loose car, Gordon decided to stay out and gain track position as the leaders came down pit road.  The Menards/Mapei team restarted the event in the 8th position. 

 
Less than 10 laps later the caution came out again.  This time, the team called Gordon down pit road and gave the car four tires and removed a windshield tear-off. 

 
The next round of pit stops occurred under green flag conditions.  The handling on the Menards/Mapei Fusion was starting to fade, and Gordon was struggling with a tight racecar.  Just as Gordon was ready to pull into the pits, he lost a lap to the leaders.  Gordon came down pit road on lap 219 and the crew quickly changed four tires, gave the car fuel and sent Gordon back to the track before he lost another lap.  After the pit stops cycled through, Gordon was scored in the 28th position, one lap behind the leaders.

 
The caution flag came out again on lap 233.  Gordon came down pit road to have the No. 7 crew service the car.  The car was loose going into the turns, but then was tight through the middle.  Sospenzo made the call to go two rounds down on the track bar to alleviate the problem.  The crew expected a four tire stop, but Gordon called for right sides only at the last second.  The strategy gave Gordon a chance at the lucky dog position on the restart. 
 

Gordon passed the only lap car ahead of him on the restart and moved into the lucky dog position.  By lap 244, the caution came out and Gordon was back on the lead lap.  Gordon knew he had a fast car and was happy to be back in contention for the win.  The team stopped once again for four tires and fuel.  By stopping under this caution, the team would be able to make it to the end of the race on fuel. 

 Unfortunately, Gordon’s tires were not able to make it to the end of the run.  There was metal in the high groove of turns 3 and 4 and Gordon found it on lap 263.  Luckily, his tires held up until NASCAR called a caution on lap 269.  The crew gave Gordon four more tires and went one round down in the right rear.  When the tires came off Gordon’s Fusion, the crew found a large gash in the right front and another cut in the right rear. 

 Gordon was racing in the high groove on lap 282 when he got loose in the marbles causing Gordon to brush the wall in turn three.  The Menards/Mapei Fusion seemed a little off after the incident, but Gordon was able to continue on until the end of the race.  Gordon took the checkered flag in the 24th position. 


The team left Phoenix in the 28th position in the NEXTEL Cup Series owners standings.  They are just 128 points out of the 25th position. 


“Our car was really fast today,” said Gordon.  “We had a little bit of bad luck, but we also had some good luck too.  We were the beneficiary of the lucky dog twice and we were able to finish on the lead lap.  Unfortunately, we were the guys to find debris on the track and then I got loose up in the marbles toward the end.  We had the pit stop penalty early, but the guys were able to fight back and get us a good finish.  It was a great effort by the team to fight back from everything; everybody did a really good job.”

 
Next weekend, the series will crown the 2007 champion at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.  The “Ford 400” will be broadcast on ABC with coverage beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 18, 2007. 


This week, Robby will travel to Mexico to race in the Baja 1000.  Gordon returns to the Baja peninsula to defend his 2006 title in the event.  His team will start in the fourth position on Tuesday, November 13, 2007.  Watch RobbyGordon.com for news and Baja updates throughout the week.
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