ROBBY GORDON MOTORSPORTS TO FIELD MARCOS AMBROSE IN NEXTEL CUP DEBUT CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 7, 2007) -- Robby Gordon Motorsports will field Australian Marcos Ambrose in the Busch Series rookie's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut at Watkins Glen...
ROBBY GORDON MOTORSPORTS TO FIELD MARCOS AMBROSE IN NEXTEL CUP DEBUT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 7, 2007) -- Robby Gordon Motorsports will field Australian Marcos Ambrose in the Busch Series rookie's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut at Watkins Glen this weekend.
After one of the most controversial incidents in NASCAR's recent history last weekend, Ambrose has accepted a "peace offering" from Gordon to drive the No. 77 Camping World Ford Fusion, which will also carry some signage from Ambrose's regular sponsor Kingsford Charcoal.
Ambrose led 37 laps, more than any other driver in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in Montreal last weekend and was on course to record his first NASCAR Busch Series win when he was turned around by Gordon while leading at the second corner at a restart with two laps remaining.
As a penalty, Gordon was eliminated from the following day's NEXTEL Cup race, and while he strongly disagreed with the calls during the Busch race, he has accepted NASCAR's decision and wants to put the incident behind him.
Ambrose will continue his NASCAR Busch campaign on Saturday in the No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, but will now do "double duty" in the Robby Gordon Motorsports entry.
Gordon will drive the No. 55 Verizon Wireless Ford Fusion in the Busch race and the No. 7 Jim Beam Ford Fusion in the NEXTEL Cup Series race.
The Sunday event will be a joint effort between Robby Gordon Motorsports and Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, with Ambrose's regular Kingsford crew doing the pit work and his new Crew Chief Ernie Cope calling the shots from the box on Sunday.
Ambrose was originally scheduled to make his NEXTEL Cup debut in a Wood Brothers/JTG Racing entry this weekend, but several circumstances meant the team had to put their plans on hold.
He currently sits eighth in the NASCAR Busch Series points and second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.
"There are a couple of reasons why I'm doing this," said Gordon.
"The first reason is that it's unfortunate that Marcos got put in a position in Montreal where I was thinking, 'OK, if I'm not going to win, he's not going to win.'
"At the same time, I think he's a talented race-car driver, and obviously he has the ability to compete at the highest level. He showed that last weekend in the Busch race, and I felt that this opportunity would be a make-up.
"Unfortunately, we didn't get to finish the race the way either one of us wanted to finish it last weekend, and now we've got an opportunity to try to put on a good show again this weekend at Watkins Glen.
"He will be driving a brand new, purpose-built road racing car in the Camping World colors with a bit of Kingsford branding thrown in for good measure.
"As a team owner, I'm excited about giving him this opportunity. I look forward to running two cars this weekend, I look forward to getting them in the show, and at the end of the day, I hope it comes down to the two of us to win the race."
"Well, they say that America is the land of opportunity, and I guess this is proof of that," said Ambrose.
"A bit of old outback Australian culture involved playing a game of Australian football, having a fight and then heading to the pub together for a beer -- I guess this is a bit like that.
"This is part apology and part compliment on Robby's behalf. I believe we can have a solid run this weekend and give Ford, Camping World and the rest of Robby Gordon Motorsports' sponsors a good return on their investment.
"In some respects this is a no-lose situation for me because I get to break into NEXTEL Cup without the regular burden of things like owner and championship points.
"Obviously, this indicates there is no animosity between us, and we will both be out there looking for the best result possible in our Fords."