CART: It's back to normal for Team Gordon at Milwaukee
3 June 1999MILWAUKEE (June 1, 1999) - Next to last weekend's milestone racing double for Robby Gordon and his first-year CART FedEx Championships Series team, which started at Gateway International Raceway and ended within a lap of victory in the 83rd Indianapolis 500, this week's Miller Lite 225 might feel something like "Racing Lite."
"One weekend, one race - what a concept," said the 30-year-old owner-driver, who had to pit for a splash of fuel while coming around for the white flag while leading at Indy on Sunday. "We come to Milwaukee on an incredible high, even though it was frustrating what happened at Gateway and at Indy. Team Gordon is looking stronger and stronger each weekend, and we'll be as primed as ever to make a strong run at Milwaukee."
Gordon qualified his #22 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menards Toyota-powered Swift ninth at Gateway last weekend, his new team's best qualifying effort through the first six CART races of the season. But race day Saturday ended prematurely when he spun into the wall while working Lap 11 of the 236-lap race.
"I still don't know what happened," Gordon said. "It was coming around before I even got to the (Turn 3) corner. That's puzzling." Sunday, he jumped into one of Team Gordon co-owner John Menard's venerable Team Menard Indy Racing League cars, which he qualified fourth the previous weekend, and nearly pulled off his first Indy 500 win in five tries, and Menard's first in 20 tries.
"We took a gamble that didn't pay off," Gordon said. "But, perhaps most importantly, I learned more with that one experience under John Menard than I ever could have imagined. We'll definitely be back."
Gordon returns to the famed Milwaukee Mile this weekend, a historic track in and of itself where he's recorded three top-10 finishes in his eight CART seasons. Racing for Derrick Walker, he posted a sixth- and fifth-place finishes in 1994 and 1995, respectively.
"It's a very unique place to race - a short, flat oval," Gordon said. "Coming off the superspeedway at Indy, and the fast mile-and-a-quarter oval at Gateway, this one will be a whole different animal. Set-up is incredibly important at Milwaukee because your car can get away from you in a hurry. We learned that the hard way the last time we tested a Reynard there (in late April). We've gotten a good handle on our Swift package with strong runs at Rio and (in qualifying) at Gateway. I'm really looking forward to getting back out there."
Practice for the Miller Lite 225 begins Friday, with qualifying on tap for Saturday. Sunday's 225-mile race begins at 3 p.m. EDT. It'll be aired by ABC-TV on a one-hour tape delayed basis, beginning at 4 p.m. EDT.