ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 17, 1999) â€“ The much-anticipated return of Robby Gordon to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series came to fruition today as Team Gordon announced plans to compete on the circuit full-time beginning in the 2000 season. Team ...
ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 17, 1999) – The much-anticipated return of Robby Gordon to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series came to fruition today as Team Gordon announced plans to compete on the circuit full-time beginning in the 2000 season.
Team Gordon, headed by the 30-year-old driving veteran and co-owners Mike Held and John Menard, is currently moving its Southern California-based operation to the Charlotte, N.C., area. In addition, the team and the colorful Gordon also have plans to take part in the annual Indianapolis 500 Pep Boys Indy Racing League event, which he came within a lap of winning last May.
"I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to be returning to NASCAR country, and I do plan to stay here this time," said Gordon, who leaves the CART FedEx Championship Series after a season as its only owner-driver in 1999. "This brings us back to the most popular racing series in the world and we're committed to being here for the long haul. In this day and age, if you're in the business of racing, you'd better be racing NASCAR."
"The emphasis is on 'business' and what will facilitate our continued ability to raise sponsorship dollars," added Held, who with Gordon and Menard made Team Gordon a reality last summer. "Today, and in the foreseeable future, those opportunities are in Winston Cup."
Current Team Gordon sponsors Menards, Turtle Wax and Hot Wheels remain on board as it prepares for the 2000 Winston Cup season, which opens with the traditional Daytona 500 on February 20. Operations and staff are currently being assembled.
And while the team plans to compete in the Indy 500 next May 28 – the same day as it will also run the Winston Cup Series' annual Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte – the remainder of its open-wheel program will be shelved.
"We're still finalizing several key details with regard to personnel, our race car package, and additional sponsorship, so it'll be a few weeks before we're ready to make those announcements," said Gordon, an eight-year CART series regular who has also been competing in NASCAR events since 1990. "The good news is we have some strong corporate sponsors who are very interested in being a part of this program – which, once all is said and done, will hopefully be fit for a king and capable of winning championships."
"Sponsorship and business opportunities abound in the NASCAR world right now, and we've always been firm believers in going where the sponsors want to go," said Held. "Consequently, NASCAR is also the most competitive of racing series out there, so we'll definitely have our work cut out for us. But we're more than up for the challenges that lie ahead. John Menard always tells us, 'if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!' We're ready to roll up our sleeves and get it on!"