By admin | April 15, 2010
By Richard Allen
Robby Gordon Motorsports is in the midst of a somewhat make or break season. The #7 Toyota team has struggled to find sponsorship throughout the year and has been hampered by a number of poor finishes. At times this season, Gordon has found himself outside the all important top-35 of the owner’s points standings which is the cutoff point for those being guaranteed to start a particular race.
In Saturday’s Fresh Fit 600 at the Phoenix International Raceway, Gordon put together what could be described as a run to save his early season. He placed a very solid 14th in that race after running most of the night inside the top-20. That finish moved RGM into the top-35 of the owner’s standings, which will assure that their car will start in the next Sprint Cup race in Texas.
At this time RGM is 35th but only seven points ahead of the #34 Front Row Motorsports team. Being guaranteed into the Texas race is critical for Gordon. However, assurance of starting the race is vital but is only one step in the right direction. His average starting position there is a less than stellar 25th and his average finishing position is an even worse 31st.
Should Gordon be able to maintain his top-35 status this week it would take a good deal of pressure off going into next week in the crap shoot that is restrictor plate qualifying in Talladega. Once in that race, Gordon has the chance to further improve his position. Aside from Watkins Glen, the two plate tracks of Talladega and Daytona are among his best on the circuit.
Robby Gordon’s first top-20 run of the 2010 season could not have come at a more needed time. He needed the assurance of being locked into the field going into one of his worst tracks in Texas and he also now has the opportunity to lock himself into the field for the next week going into one of his better tracks in Talladega.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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