Gordon Goes To Michigan Regroups
June 6, 2000 | 12:00 A.M. EST
That testing started Monday with a two-day road course test and a wind tunnel session underway. For Robby and the team, the weekend off from Dover was spent very productively, catching up on its inventory of race cars and preparing for their schedule ahead.
Gordon will jump back into his Ford for this weekend’s Winston Cup event at Michigan, a track he has been to twice in the past with stock cars and close to 10 times in a champ car. The reasons for choosing to run Michigan this week are a result of the new focus at Team Gordon. As explained by Gordon, Michigan is a track the team can learn from and apply the knowledge to other tracks.
"We’ve gone to a lighter schedule in terms of race weekends, but really, the day-to-day schedule has become more intense," said Gordon, who two weeks ago ran the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, finishing sixth and 35th respectively. "We’ve spent more time working on our Michigan cars because that’s an important race for a couple of reasons. And that’s not to say the other races aren’t important.
"For starters, the Michigan Speedway is in Ford’s backyard, and we’d like to try and show them we’re what we’re capable of doing. Secondly, Michigan falls into one of our focuses, which is being more competitive on the intermediate-length tracks. We’ve had mixed success running the 1.5 and 2-mile ovals. I know this is a loose comparison, but I put Las Vegas, Atlanta, Texas, Michigan, Charlotte and Fontana in the same group. That group represents almost a third of the schedule, and they’re all very high-visibility cities.
"We’re also bringing basically the same type of car to those tracks. So for us, it makes sense to learn as much as we can about these places because it’s reasonable to say what we learn at Michigan we might be able to apply elsewhere."
Team Gordon will not travel the following week to Pocono, instead opting to pursue more testing in preparation for the Sears Point event June 25 in Sonoma, Calif.