Gordon aims again for rare 2-race sweep

Saturday, May 25, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS -- Robby Gordon gets a little irritated when he hears people saying he hasn't really done the Memorial Day weekend double yet.

"They don't have me listed as doing the double in 2000," said Gordon, who has been hampered by weather in his two previous attempts to run both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C., on the same day.

Gordon hopes to bury the criticism for good Sunday when he will try once again to complete 1,100 miles of racing in cities 400 miles apart.

He managed to run in both events on the same day in 2000, but wasn't able to start the stock car race and fell far short of the full complement of miles.

"We finished sixth here and went on to finish in Charlotte," Gordon said. "But I missed the first about 50 laps or so, so a lot of people don't count that."

John Andretti was the first in 1994. He finished 10th in the 500, then wound up 36th in the race in suburban Charlotte after an early wreck, and mechanical problems ended his day 180 laps short. Andretti, whose uncle, Mario, won Indy in 1969 and whose cousin, Michael, is racing here Sunday, hasn't been back since.

Gordon, a former open-wheel star who now has a full-time ride in NASCAR with Richard Childress Racing, in 1997 became the second driver to attempt the difficult feat.

Sunday, with no rain the forecast at either venue, Gordon should have the chance to match Tony Stewart, who completed all 600 laps, finishing sixth in Indy and third in Charlotte, last May.

BUSCH SERIES: This replacement thing is working out well for Ron Hornaday.

Hired three weeks ago to replace Lyndon Amick, Hornaday earned the first Busch series pole of his career Friday by qualifying first for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C.

Hornaday set a record with a lap of 182.094 mph around Lowe's Motor Speedway, besting the 179.485 mph set by Jeff Burton seven months ago. Michael Waltrip qualified second for today's race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., making his second Busch series appearance of the season, qualified 11th in a No. 3 Chevrolet owned by Richard Childress Racing.

"It's pretty neat seeing the No. 3 out on the track, it reminds me of the good old days," Earnhardt Jr. said of the number, which his late father used in Winston Cup.

-- From wire reports

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