April 2 in Motorsports History: Robby Gordon’s first IndyCar victory

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“What comes around goes around.”

That’s what Robby Gordon told reporters after he won his first major race on April 2, 1995.

Just one year after running out of fuel while leading CART’s 200-mile event at Phoenix International Raceway, Gordon was in victory lane at the same facility, thanks in part to an error by Michael Andretti.

Despite falling a lap behind early, Gordon stayed with the leaders throughout, eventually regaining his lap.

With seven laps remaining, Emerson Fittipaldi led Andretti (second) and Gordon (third). But one lap later, Fittipaldi had to come in for a final splash of fuel.

While Fittipaldi pitted, Gordon passed Andretti to inherit the lead. Having not been told by his team that he inherited the lead, and assuming that Gordon was still a lap down, Andretti let him by without a fight.

It was only until after the race when he was being interviewed by ESPN’s Gary Gerould that Andretti became aware of the fact that he was in contention to win.

Robby Gordon celebrates after winning at Phoenix. Photo: All Sport

“Was that for the win?!?” Andretti asked Gerould. “I had no idea I was in the lead.

“It’s disappointing because I got held up with (Eliseo) Salazar and (Roberto) Guerrero, and they pushed me up into the slippery stuff (marbles), and that’s how Gordon got by me. Otherwise, I had no idea I was even in the lead.”

Meanwhile in victory lane, Gordon couldn’t have been happier.

“I’m ecstatic. I was crying on the back straightaway,” Gordon told ESPN’s Jack Arute. “It’s my first victory in IndyCar. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of.”

Gordon would win once more in IndyCar (from the pole at Belle Isle later that season). He would continue racing in both CART and the Indy Racing Leauge on and off through the remainder of the 1990s and early 2000s before moving to full-time NASCAR competition. He now races in his Stadium Super Trucks series.

Ironically enough, another Gordon also was victorious on this date in 1995. Earlier in the day, Jeff Gordon won a 500-lap NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Also on this date:

1977: Tom Sneva won the Texas Grand Prix at Texas World Speedway. Later that season, he would win again at Pocono en route to clinching his first championship.

2004: Former World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski recorded his first and only IROC victory in dominant fashion, leading flag to flag at Texas Motor Speedway after starting from the pole position. He then raced in a WoO event at the TMS dirt track the following night.

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Simon Pagenaud’s engineer relives 2019 Indy 500 victory on Twitter

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The Team Penske engineer for last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner is reliving Simon Pagenaud’s day by tweeting about what he was doing each moment a year later.

Starting with an observation that he awoke in his Indianapolis hotel room at 4:30 a.m., Ben Bretzman (@benbretzman) sent nearly two dozen tweets by 11 a.m. ET about how the morning before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 unfolded.

Bretzman was through the infield tunnel and in Gasoline Alley by 6 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., he was wondering if his driver was awake yet, but he had heard for the first time from Pagenaud 45 minutes later.

‘BACK HOME AGAIN’Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC

FIERCE FRIENDSHIPPagenaud, Rossi recall epic battle of 2019 Indy 500

Among other highlights: The team’s last strategy meeting was at 8:30 a.m.; final check of the weather was at 9:30 a.m. and Bretzman gave the No. 22 Dallara-Chevrolet a once-over at 10:35 a.m. before it was pushed to the grid.

Follow @BenBretzman to watch the day unfold from the pit box and tune into “Back Home Again at 2 p.m. ET on NBC as Pageanud and Alexander Rossi, who are good friends off the track, recap their epic duel with host Mike Tirico.

Simon Pagenaud and engineer Ben Bretzman debrief at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IndyCar photo by Joe Skibinski).