|Prior Year Coverage|
Once again pit stop strategy was the major factor in determining the winner of a NASCAR Winston Cup Race. This time it was Robby Gordon who benefited from good timing to win the 18th SIRIUS at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Road course expert Scott Pruett finished second in his No. 39 Target Dodge after starting the race 28th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) and Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.
- SIRIUS At The Glen - Results
Gordon, who won earlier at Infineon Raceway in June, began the day in 14th and drove his No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chrevrolet inside the top ten throughout the first half of the race (45 laps). The key to the victory came as he was preparing to turn onto the frontstretch at the end of lap 51.
'I saw Rusty Wallace lock his wheels around Turn Ten and I knew what was happening,' said Gordon. 'I immediately got on the radio and began asking – Can I pit? Can I pit? I knew what our number to pit was 52, and I was already telling our guys they (tires) were spinning.'
Pulling immediately into pit road, Gordon and a few other cars were able to beat the yellow flag waving, and he had all the advantage that was needed. Just 10 laps later, he took the lead, began measures to conserve fuel and logged his first two-win season of his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career.
'I'll be honest, I don't think that we had the best car today,' added the 2003 SIRIUS winner. 'We just drove good and had smart strategy. We've let this race slip away enough times here, we finally got to go to Victory Lane.'
It was a tough day for pole-sitter Jeff Gordon, who spun his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet into the Turn One gravel and dropped to the back of the field. Over the next 89 laps, Gordon moved through the field and held third place after the white flag was waved. Just after the halfway point of his final lap, the four-time winner at The Glen had run out of gas and was coasting his way around to the finish. Coming around the final turn, he was hit from behind by Kevin Harvick and spun into the wall, stopping just short of the finish line. He wasn't injured but finished the day in 34th.
'I'm not sure what happened on the first lap,' said Gordon. 'I got a great jump on the start, and it was the first lap and I knew my car was going to push a little bit down there, so I drove down in there, not real conservative, but it seemed like those guys behind me just blasted it on in there. It's our fault that we didn't make it on fuel, but I was going to coast back and finish fifth, I think. He (Harvick) just flat ran over me. I can't believe that I got spun like that on the last corner of the last lap and come home short like that.'
NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth (No.17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford) finished 8th behind sixth-place Ward Burton (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge) and seventh-place Dale Jarrett (No. 88 UPS Ford). Kenseth still holds a hefty advantage (258 points) over Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon (396 points). With the win, Robby Gordon moves up one position in the point standings, cracking the top ten for the third time this season.
|Prior Year Coverage|