By admin | July 8, 2008
By Richard Allen
Three weeks ago Robby Gordon was barely clinging to a spot inside the Top 35 of the overall standings. His team, Robby Gordon Motorsports, was only 34 points ahead of the 35th place team in the owner point standings. A team must be in the Top 35 to be assured of a starting position in each race, otherwise they must qualify on speed.
However, it seemed as though there was no need for worry. Although RGM had been dropping in the owner standings, the next race was to be held on the road course in Sonoma, California and Gordon has proven himself to be one of the top road racers in NASCAR. Surely a good finish and some breathing room in the standings would be a certainty at the Infineon Raceway.
Instead, Gordon tangled with another car and damaged his #7 machine. A 36th place finish was all he could muster on a track where he was thought to be a contender for a win.
After Sonoma, Gordon’s points position became even more precarious. He was only one blown tire or broken part away from losing his guaranteed starting spot.
The Coke Zero 400 provided an opportunity for either success or failure for the Cerritos, California native. He had finished 8th in the Daytona 500 and 11th in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega so he had the potential for a good finish on the restrictor plate track. However, the ever looming threat of “The Big One” can ruin any driver’s evening at any time.
As it turned out, Gordon was not only able to make it to the end of the 400 mile race but he managed his best finish of the season. His 6th place effort at Daytona could not have come at a better time.
Now, Robby Gordon Motorsports sits in the 31st position of the owner standings, but more importantly, RGM has a 184 point cushion over the 36th place team.
Gordon’s season may well have been saved by this outstanding result. Any team that finds itself having to qualify on speed also finds itself in the position of possibly missing races and thus digging itself into a hole it cannot get out of.
Robby Gordon may have indeed saved his season.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
Topics: Articles |