Gordon’s team may benefit

Driver concentrates on race setup because of imminent rain at Pocono

? Rain washed out all Winston Cup practice at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, and Robby Gordon could be the biggest beneficiary.

Gordon’s team spent Friday’s practice working on race setup rather than qualifying because of the likelihood practice would be lost Saturday.

He used a provisional Friday to make today’s Pocono 500 and spent almost two hours preparing his No. 31 Chevrolet.

“That’s about three weeks in a row now we have concentrated on race setup on Fridays instead of qualifying, and it seems to be working for us, too,” Gordon said.

“Having a good race setup has been more valuable for us than a good qualifying setup.”

The first was the Coca-Cola 600 near Charlotte, but the move was made because Gordon was also entered in the Indianapolis 500 and would miss track time.

Last week at Dover, Del., rain canceled Saturday’s final practice, and the team spent much of that Friday working on race setup.

In his past three races, Gordon has finished fourth at Richmond, Va.; 17th at Charlotte; and ninth at Dover. He is now 10th in points, 472 behind leader Matt Kenseth.


Elliott given OK: NASCAR cleared reigning Automobile Racing Club of America champion Frank Kimmel to drive in today’s race in relief of Bill Elliott, despite getting no seat time because of bad weather on Saturday.

Elliott, who broke bones in his left foot in an accident during The Winston all-star race, has not decided whether he will use a relief driver, but car owner Ray Evernham has made preparations in case one is needed.

“We went already and spoke to (Winston Cup series director) John Darby and (NASCAR President) Mike Helton just to make sure if Frank didn’t get a chance to practice the car if he’s cleared, and he is cleared,” Evernham said.

NASCAR typically requires relief drivers to have spent some time in the car in practice prior to the race.


Nadeau recovering: MB2 Motorsports driver Mike Wallace, who is filling in the No. 01 Pontiacs for the injured Jerry Nadeau, said Nadeau made an unexpected visit to the team’s Concord shop Friday.

Nadeau was released from the Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation Friday.

He will continue therapy at the center on an outpatient basis.

Nadeau suffered head, shoulder, lung and rib injuries in a Winston Cup practice crash May 2 at Richmond, Va.

“I’m really happy for Jerry and his family, and it sounds like he’s on a quick road to recovery.

“In the meantime, we’ll just fill in and keep the seat warm for him.”

Ricky Rudd will make his 48th series start today at Pocono — the most of any driver.