Race Day: Talladega

27843Jpg
If Robby Gordon wanted to say "I told you so," he'd have every right.

A year ago, Gordon's new NEXTEL Cup Series team was struggling. He failed to make several races, including the Aaron's 499 at Talladega.

But things are moving in a much better direction this season.

Yeh, Gordon is only 31st in the point standings and doesn't have a Top 10 finish so far this season. But being in the Top 35 has taken off the pressure of having to qualify on time and possibly missing more races.

Although he had a spot locked up for Sunday's race, he still went out and qualified 19th on Saturday, a run that would have put him into the field regardless of where Gordon stood in the point standings.

With a 13th place finish in the season's first plate race at Daytona, Gordon sees the potential of another good day at Talladega on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to getting our Daytona chassis back on track at Talladega this weekend which already gave me a 13th-place finish earlier this year," Gordon said. "(Crew chief) Greg [Erwin] just got back from the wind tunnel with this car, and the aero numbers were good."

Switching over to the potent DEI powerplant has made a big difference in the No. 7's performance, particularly on restrictor plate tracks.

"With the history of DEI power at the track, we should have a good showing this weekend for Menards and our new sponsor, Turtle Wax Inc," Gordon said. "We’ve had a couple of weeks of bad luck, so I’m excited to try and get a confidence boost for the team with a strong run this weekend."

Despite missing last spring's race, this will be Gordon’s 11th start at the largest and fastest track on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit. Heading into his 207th career start this weekend, he boasts one top-five, two top-10 and five top-15 finishes at the 2.66-mile tri-oval.

Gordon also claimed a front-row starting spot in 2002 and has captured two top-10 starts prior to the wave of the green.

PISTONE'S PISTONS
  • The most relieved person in the Talladega garage this weekend has to be Michael Waltrip, who needed to qualify on time or risk missing Sunday's race since he is out of the Top 35 in owners' points. "I believe I can win the race now that I am in it," said Waltrip.
  • Waltrip fueled more speculation when he mentioned he had spoken to Dale Jarrett about joining his new two-car Toyota-backed team next season. But sources indicate that much like Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress, Jarrett and current car owner Robert Yates are already working on a contract extension.
  • Talladega Superspeedway will be repaved after this weekend's events and a new surface will be in place in time for October's Craftsman Truck-NEXTEL Cup weekend. Not everyone is excited about the plan with several drivers fearing a new surface will raise speeds even further and the potential for more accidents.
  • The weather forecast for Sunday is for partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the 80s and a 60 percent chance of showers.

  • Photos

    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Coke Zero 400
    • Barney Hall
    • Barney Hall
    • Barney Hall
    • Barney Hall
    • Barney Hall
    • Barney Hall
    • Barney Hall
    • Barney Hall
    • Barney Hall
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
    • Daytona Firecracker Memories
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites