Talladega, Alabama (April 14, 2000) Team Gordon and Robby Gordon announced today that Richard Buck has been hired as General Manager, effective with this weekend's Die Hard 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. Buck fills a much-needed position at...
Talladega, Alabama (April 14, 2000) Team Gordon and Robby Gordon announced today that Richard Buck has been hired as General Manager, effective with this weekend's Die Hard 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. Buck fills a much-needed position at Team Gordon, bringing 20 years of experience in the CART IndyCar Series with him, the most notable of which, his years at Team Penske Racing where as crew chief he amassed 25 pole positions, 22 race victories, 5 Indy 500 victories, 2 CART Series Championships, 6 pit stop championships, as well being awarded "Chief Mechanic of the Year" honors twice.
Buck will take care of all the day-to-day responsibilities at Team Gordon as they build their young team into a NASCAR Winston Cup contender. Before this week, Buck had been working with Team Gordon on an exploratory level, getting to know the team and the areas in which he needs to focus. And while he's spent his career in the open-wheel ranks, Buck is quick to acknowledge that racing is racing and the challenge of orchestrating a successful operation is the same no matter what series a team competes.
"Right now, this team has a lot of potential," said Buck, who comes over from PPI Racing where he spent the last four years helping to build their CART team. "There is talent and determination which translates into a group of people that are racers at heart. That's what I look for in this business. If you're not at the track to win, I'm not interested in working with you. I took my time deciding where my next step would be, and I kept coming back to Robby. He's an incredible talent on the race track and he's driven to win. Right now, he's facing a learning curve in this series that maybe he wasn't expecting. I know he can be successful here with the team he has in place. All that's needed is direction and better organization which is my specialty. They've accomplished an incredible amount over the last four months to get where they are today and they've done that by working hard. Now if we can add some structure, take what they've learned so far and apply it properly to the second half of the season, I think you'll be surprised at what's to come.
"CART, NASCAR, World of Outlaws - I don't care what the type of racing is," added Buck. "There are simple formulas that apply regardless of the chassis and motor you put on the track. Robby's got all the tools here. We just need to label those tools, come up with a consistent set of answers for all the questions, and build a system. It's going to happen, I wouldn't be here if I didn't think it could."
The addition of Richard Buck was important not only for the structure of the team, but for Robby as well. Buck's past history helping to develop the mental side of a driver's game has been a strong asset everywhere he's worked.
"I worked with Richard when I drove for Cal Wells in 1998," said Gordon, co-owner and driver of Team Gordon. "He's a tough customer, which is exactly what we need to make our team stronger and better prepared. He knows how to run a racing program, period. Indy cars, NASCAR, it's all about being prepared and he's the man to get that done here. We've been going non-stop since December building cars, testing and getting ready for a 34-race schedule. I think we've done a pretty good job of getting to this point, the only thing that's been missing is someone like Buck to really tie it all together and take us to the next level."
Richard Buck began his career in motorsports working as a fabricator and mechanic in the Sprint Car ranks with Gary Stanton Racing. He toured the World of Outlaws series as the #1 mechanic working with drivers Al Unser Jr., Sammy Swindell, Steve Kinser and Ronny Shuman. In 1983, and at 21 years of age, Buck became the youngest chief mechanic on the PPG CART circuit and at Indy. Success over the next three years with drivers Arie Luyendyk, Tony Bettenhausen, and victory in 1985 with Johnny Rutherford, landed him with Roger Penske's legendary Indy Car outfit, Team Penske. As Crew Chief there, Buck worked with champion Indy Car drivers Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Jr.; was involved with 13 Indy chassis programs, three successful engine programs and numerous victories and championships as a result.