HOT STREAK CONTINUES FOR GORDON IN SOBO by Jeremy Troiano
Four Wins, Two Seconds In Last Six Races For Points Leader
It is hard to stop a man on a roll. Just ask the other 30-something competitors in the USAR ProCup Northern Division.
Gordon started on the pole (thanks to being the Northern Division points leader) and led 182 of the 250 laps en route to the win.
“When you get on to something with these cars, you can get on a roll that can last for a few weeks or so,” said Gordon, who also won an Southern Division race earlier this season at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC). “A lot of these tracks, even though they are different, are similar in things you do with the car. When you get a car that is working good, it is easy.
“I've ran this same set up the last five weeks be it a shock turn here or there as the only changes,” said Gordon. “Basically though, the car has been the same every week. We have a very good maintenance program that helps too. The car just doesn't break that much.”
“Hopefully, this (hot streak) carries over to the championship series. That is really where this streak started last year. We won two of those races and that is when I really got a good feel for these type of cars. We had to change a few things up with the introduction of the radial tires, but I still got the feel of these cars last year and it has just transferred over.”
Gordon, the 2003 ProCup Series Rookie of the Year, won two races in the Championship Series last season and finished second in the point standings.
However, Gordon switched to the Northern Division and a different team during the off season, but has kept the same successes.
It did appear though that former series champion Jeff Agnew may have had the quicker car at the end of the race as Agnew visibly closed nearing the finish, but he ran out of time and finished less than a half second behind Gordon at the checkers.
Benny Gordon may be looking for a spot atop the Speed51.com Short Track Power Rankings after notching his third-straight ProCup Northern Series Division win on Sunday afternoon in the rain-delayed and appropriately named Sponge Absorbent 250 at South Boston Speedway (VA).
After rains from the remnants of Hurricane Charley washed away all on-track activity on Saturday at SoBo, USAR officials set the field by points and gave the drivers just 45-minutes of practice time on Sunday morning prior to the start of the race, which was also delayed by light rain showers Sunday afternoon, to setup their cars.
It proved those 45 minutes was all Gordon needed.
Not even all the rain that fell on SoBo this weekend could put out the fire that Benny Gordon is trailing in the ProCup Northern Division.
No one could touch Gordon on Sunday at SoBo, much like in the last few races.
“We thought we had something for him but we just ran out of laps,” said Agnew, who pressured Gordon in the middle part of the race but spun on his own while riding comfortably in second. “We ran him down from basically a straightway behind.
“I just lost it on my own,” added Agnew of his spin. “The car had been getting looser and looser off. It just got out from under me. That might have cost me a real shot at it.”
Gordon was one of the last leaders to come in and pit for tires and fuel, which put him behind and several others out front on a track that was very tough to pass on.
“I thought track position would be everything and thought maybe, just maybe, we made a mistake waiting so long,” said Gordon. “We started back where we did (around 11th
Jeff Agnew (#73) finished second on Sunday.
place on the restart after the stops) and the car drove right up through. I think my car could turn better when everyone was having a push in the corners. Corner two was still pretty wet on the paint, which made for some interesting times out there.”
As Gordon was coming up through the field, Danny Sammons, the only other driver to lead laps, spent plenty of time out front. However, as Gordon was coming up through the field and moved into thrid, Sammons got a tap from behind by an overeager Johnny Rumley, who felt the pressure coming from Gordon, and spent both himself and Sammons spinning. Sammons fell to the back of the top-10 while Rumely was assessed a penalty for rough driving.
Other than that, the race was pretty boring as Gordon pulled away and cruised to the checkers.
Rookie (yes, 41-year-old rookie) Gary St. Amant clinched the ProCup Northern Division Rookie of the Year honors on Sunday just by taking the green flag.
Stacey Puryear finished a solid third, while local favorite Jay Fogleman came home fourth and St. Amant rounded out the top-five.