A Pain In The Gas

Forget the high fuel prices facing most of us, Robby Gordon would have paid anything for just a couple of gallons on Sunday.

Gordon led the most laps in Sunday's Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway only to have fuel mileage issues knock him from contention and a disappointing 16th place finish.

Despite having one of the best cars in Sunday's race at the twisting northern California road circuit, Gordon couldn't stretch out his fuel strategy like some others did.

"I only stopped two times," Gordon said. "The other guys only stopped two. They stopped seven laps before us under that caution. Tony (Stewart) stayed out, Junior stayed out and I stayed out, and we couldn’t make it. I don’t know how they made it, but they made it."

Gordon looked like he might be headed to his fourth career NEXTEL Cup Series win until the fuel mileage issues caught up with him around the race's mid-point.

"Not to make excuses, but we were gonna run out of fuel," Gordon said. "It’s disappointing that we had a car as fast as we had, started on the front row, and not just get beat but finish 16th."

Gordon was puzzled why other drivers with Roush Fenway and Robert Yates Racing, which share an engine program with his single car team, had better fuel mileage results.

"I don’t know," he said. "With our rental program that we get, obviously we don’t get the same mileage that Biffle and Rudd do and we’re gonna have to discuss that because we weren’t gonna make it. I told (crew chief) Gene (Nead), ‘I’d rather just run out of fuel than finish 16th. He said, ‘There’s no way we’re gonna make it,’ and we barely made it the way we did it, so, obviously, we’ve got to get with the boys at Roush and Yates and figure out why we’re getting a quarter of a gallon less per lap than the other guys. It’s a big deal."

Gordon hopes to have things righted by the time the series visits its next road circuit in August at Watkins Glen.

"It’s just wrong," he fumed. "We’ve got to really look deep into this one and figure out how we can prevent it before we go to Watkins Glen."

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