Benny Gordon passed Clay Rogers with 29 laps to go win the American Freedom Spectacular 200 Saturday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Gordon was leading when the race went green on lap 169 of the 200-lap event. One lap later Rogers made a daring pass to take the lead but on lap 171, Gordon returned the favor - with perhaps a bit of a nudge – off Turn 2. He beat Rogers to the checkered flag by three car lengths, officially measured at .398 seconds.
The move gave Gordon his first win of 2010 and left Rogers a bit miffed.
“First couple of laps it took a second for my tires to come in, I needed about two laps,” Gordon said. “He [Rogers] muscled his way through there pretty good. He didn’t touch me. He muscled his way through there. I’ve been off this year. I’ve had such a rough year and I finally had a good car under me and there was no way that was going to happen. I just lifted him up coming off the corner over there a little bit. The problem is, being a good driver like he is, you can do that to him and he won’t wreck it. That’s a problem in any series with knowing that the guy is not going to wipe it out. A lot of guys I would never touch like that. They would have wrecked. Clay saved it and then I ran as hard as I could so he didn’t get back to my bumper.”
Rogers, well, disagreed.
“I got by him, I cleared his clean on the restart, and coming here off of two, about quarter of the way down the back straightway, you know he had the momentum from the high side,” Rogers said. “You’re going to lose a little bit of momentum on the bottom but I passed him, cleared him. I didn’t even slide job him or nothing. He just had the momentum and rather than shooting to the inside ‘cause he knew he couldn’t complete the pass down there, he just picked my back tires about two foot off the ground and we about had a hell of a mess down here on the backstretch. That’s the way he races.”
Gordon said that while winning any race is special, parking his car in victory lane at Bristol could have huge sponsorship implications for him and his team.
“This weekend couldn’t have been any better for me because the CEO of Samuel Metals is here,” Gordon said. “He brought 20-25 people here so that’s huge. If he comes here and we wipe out and he leaves here discouraged, negotiations are a lot harder. We did the ride car yesterday. We thought it was going to rain out the ride car but it didn’t. We got everybody in and that’s all they could talk about last night was getting rides around Bristol. Then we come today and win and it justs strengthen the whole thing.”
Rounding out the top-five: Brandon Ward, A.J. Frank and Chase Elliott.
The USAR Pro Cup Series, formerly Hooters Pro Cup, is owned by Interstate Investment Group (IIG) and is based in Concord, N.C. For more information on USARacing, visit www.usarprocup.com.