Gordon in New York state of mind

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2003

Robby Gordon, who finished fifth in the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday, made a special appearance at a New York firehouse Tuesday to unveil a new FDNY-Special Olympics paint scheme. Gordon's No. 31 Chevrolet Monte Carlo will promote fire safety and the Special Olympics Aug. 10 for the Sirius at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 10.

Gordon gave several Special Olympics athletes and ''New York's bravest'' of Engine Company 16/Ladder Company 7 a thrill: With traffic temporarily stopped, he drove his race car onto Second Avenue at 29th street and performed several donuts.

BODINE TO NO. 4: Morgan-McClure Motorsports has chosen Brett Bodine to drive the No. 4 Pontiac Sunday at the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.

In addition to the Winston Cup event, Morgan-McClure will also enter the No. 4 ARCA car in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event. David Reutimann will drive in that race.

''The team is happy to have Brett Bodine drive the Kodak Pontiac at Pocono,'' team owner Larry McClure said. ''Brett and I have known each other for a long time. He is one of the hardest working drivers in the Winston Cup garage.''

KENSETH LEADS: Heading into Sunday's Pennsylvania 500, Matt Kenseth still holds the lead in the Winston Cup points championship. Kenseth finished third in Sunday's New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway to extend his lead to 234 points, the largest advantage he has had this season.

Jeff Gordon, who finished in 25th place at New Hampshire, is in second place with 2614. Dale Earnhardt Jr. follows in third place with 2575 points. Earnhardt finished sixth at New Hampshire for his fourth top-10 finish in his past six starts. The performance also was his best finish since taking fourth at Pocono five races ago. He maintained the No. 3 ranking marking his 13th consecutive race week among the top three and was able to close to 39 points of Gordon.

PIT STOPS: John Andretti, who was recently fired by Petty Enterprises, opened a two-day test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Andretti is testing a No. 81 Chevrolet, which most recently was driven by Jason Keller in his unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Jeff and Mark Green will return to their hometown of Owensboro, Ky., July 30 to sponsor the 4th Annual Green Brothers Celebrity Golf Tournament. The tournament has raised $250,000 in three years for such charities as the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Children's Miracle Network, Busch Series Ladies Association, Motor Racing Outreach and Owensboro Speedzeum. Ultra Motorsports announced Tuesday it is searching for a new primary sponsor for the No. 7 entry in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series to replace Sirius, its sponsor since last year. Sirius, which announced it would not return in 2004, will remain on the No. 7 car for the rest of the season a year that has been a good one for Ultra, led by driver Jimmy Spencer and crew chief Tommy Baldwin. The team has finished in the top 20 seven times, twice in the top 10, and once in the top 5. Now that Nextel has signed on to replace R.J. Reynolds' as title sponsor for NASCAR's Cup series, officials have resumed the search for an official fuel sponsor. Four companies BP Amoco, ExxonMobil, Shell and Sunoco appear to be in the running to replace Union 76, which is leaving at season's end after more than 50 years. Rumor has it that the 10-year deal may be in the nine-figure range.

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