July (By Tyson Graves)
When it comes to unbridled passion in our sport you do not have to look any further than Gordy Gundaker. The Midwest regional driver has shown us the past few seasons that when Gordy is on, he is on and one of the most passionate drivers in the country. The cat fisher you may call him, has shown us some magical moments the past couple of seasons.
The second-generation driver from St. Charles, Missouri on track and victory lane antics makes him a fan favorite in our sport. Gundaker has had some memorable moments that will live on in our hearts. His emotional win in the Dome a few years back, the stomping on the car and pure emotion in victory lane. His last lap pass to win the Herald & Review 100 and then winning again the next night to make it back-to-back Summer Nationals win.
Those were all great wins and moments for Gordy but what we saw back in July at Fairbury Speedway might be one the greatest feats we have seen Gundaker pull off in his early racing career. After finishing fourth in his heat race, he would start back in the fifteenth spot for the main event. In bottom feeding fashion Gordy began to move through the field and not far into the event he had broken into the top ten.
It was after the fifty-lap event got to lap thirty-five that Gundaker made his presence known. Gordy took to the top five and couple of laps later he was on the back bumper of Rick Eckert looking for third. Laps were winding down and it looked to be Shannon Babb’s race to win. But with less than five laps remaining Gundaker using the inside line overtook Babb for the lead. The crowd at Fairbury was going nuts, Gordy even mentioned in his post-race interview how he could see the crowd on their feet during the last couple of laps. It was the greatest come from behind feat the Summer Nationals had seen in many years.
After he had done his victory lap, he exited his car and began to climb the fence in turn three saluting the fans. The over-excited Gundaker had the place in a literal frenzy as the roar overtook the fear of the storm that was approaching the Speedway. In victory lane he talked about how special it was to win for the FALS faithful, the fans who fill the grandstands at one the most exciting places on the planet. The excitement, the circumstances and the come from behind triumph is a no-brainer for one of the top moments of the 2020 race season.
Photo: Brendon Bauman