DAYTONA BEACH, Fl., February 17, 2000 - Robby Gordon is back at the Daytona 500! Gordon will start Thursday's first Daytona Twin 125 qualifying race in his Duracell Ultra/Turtle Wax/Woody Woodpecker ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fl., February 17, 2000 -
Robby Gordon is back at the Daytona 500! Gordon will start Thursday's first Daytona Twin 125 qualifying race in his Duracell Ultra/Turtle Wax/Woody Woodpecker #13 Ford Taurus with one goal in mind . . . success. Team Gordon has undergone a few changes by making a move from the CART FedEx Championship Series to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
"We have a good thing starting here," said Gordon, who tackles the banks of Daytona for the fifth time, including back-to-back second-place finishes in IROC competition (1996 and 1997). "We're starting over in many ways just by moving to NASCAR, but we're building on our knowledge of running a racing team just the same. Since Thanksgiving, we've been flat out with on-track shakedowns, the development of our motor programs, as well as wind tunnel testing. Hopefully our labors will produce the goods," said Gordon, who is partners in Team Gordon with John Menard and manager Mike Held.
One of the most asked questions since Team Gordon¹s announcement to run the full 34-race NASCAR schedule is "who is Team Gordon¹s sponsor? "Team Gordon is funded with sponsorship from Duracell, Turtle Wax , Universal Studios (Woody Woodpecker) and Panasonic," said Held. "We are fortunate to have the ability to operate at a competitive level with their collective support and offer these associate sponsors the same level of value and exposure a "primary" sponsor might get from another team. At the same time, we're looking to add to our collection very soon and make a strong program even stronger."
Gordon relishes the opportunity to show the world what his team and his ability are capable of doing, "We've got a lot to prove," said Gordon, who was the 1997 pole winner at the Atlanta Motor Speedway while driving for Team Sabco. "We know it's going to be tough, but I am confident in the team we've assembled. We have the best group of supportive sponsors around and every day we are working for more."
Bob Piche, Director of Marketing for Turtle Wax, echoes Gordon's feeling, "When I was given the opportunity to align our new brand with a driver and a team, the first call I made was to Robby Gordon. His ability to drive a racecar and his recognition amongst our consumer base are fantastic, but his realism and determination are extraordinary. We hope to keep building with their program as it grows."
Universal Studios and Team Gordon have formed a very unique long-term strategic alliance both on and off the track. In addition to developing an exclusive licensing, merchandising and promotional program, Universal is also one of Team Gordon's associate sponsors and will feature special paint schemes in two major races, which will be announced later this season. The #13 Ford Taurus car, driven by Robby Gordon, will feature Woody Woodpecker as the Official Team Mascot.
"Universal Studios brings their expertise as a full-service licensing, retail merchandising, promotions and marketing company to a very talented driver and team with unlimited potential. Universal's entertainment properties are a perfect fit for NASCAR and its all-family audience," said Mike Held.
Robby Gordon will be the only NASCAR driver with a special co-pilot during each NASCAR race. A Woody Woodpecker plush toy will be on board, safely strapped onto the roll bar. Gordon will autograph the Woody Woodpecker plush toy at the end of each race. The ride-along Woody Woodpecker plush will be auctioned off on-line and the proceeds will be donated to a selected charity at the end of the NASCAR season.
"We are going to have a lot of fun working with Robby this season," said Elliot Lederman, Vice President of Licensing and Motorsports for Universal Studios. "Robby is an exciting young driver and very focused on doing his best every race. He has attracted some very high caliber sponsors and we are very proud to have the opportunity to work with Robby and the team's other sponsors this year," said Lederman. "There is a tendency for a team's primary sponsor to take the spotlight; we are working closely with Robby and Mike to insure that every sponsor maximizes their exposure and value."
Ingersoll-Rand is another partner Team Gordon has joined forces with for the Daytona 500. Noted in NASCAR circles for their superior tools, Ingersoll-Rand produces many of the impact wrenches so commonly seen up and down pit lane.
"We've got an excellent opportunity with Team Gordon to gain visibility not only for our brand groups, but for Ingersoll-Rand as well," said Joe Jones, Vice President and General Manager of Ingersoll-Rand's Tool and Hoist Division. "While our commitments for 2000 are locked in place, we are captivated and very excited about Team Gordon's plans and enthusiasm as they build their future. Given that, we're excited to help and be a part of their Daytona 500 effort."
Robby Gordon will start tomorrow's star-studded, opening Twin 125 race from the 16th position in his bright red, orange and yellow Ford Taurus with a breath of optimism.
"This is what I signed up for," said Gordon. "The 125 will be a big test to see where we are in relation to the best in the business. We plan to exercise patience and take small bites whenever possible. But I can guarantee you the adrenaline will be flowing. And when it's flowing I begin to believe we're here for a reason - and that's to stir it up on the track and move forward."