HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 26, 2006) -- Robby Gordon, who is widely regarded as the world's most versatile race car driver, will put that reputation to the test once again next week when he drives three different race cars in two countries on the...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 26, 2006) -- Robby Gordon, who is widely regarded as the world's most versatile race car driver, will put that reputation to the test once again next week when he drives three different race cars in two countries on the same weekend.
Gordon will defend his title in the Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico, where he will drive two different vehicles, and will also drive his NASCAR Nextel Cup Series car in Dover, Del.
Having pulled the famed Indy-Charlotte double three times, Gordon is accustomed to the difficult travel logistics necessary to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, but the challenge of racing in the Baja 500 and Dover NASCAR races presents an even greater test.
The 37-year-old driver will travel approximately 11,200 miles by air during the odyssey (nearly half the distance around the world) and more than 1,100 miles on the ground.
Less than eight hours after the completion of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, his journey will begin with his first cross-country flight to Ensenada where he will spend three days practicing (or pre-running) both a Red Bull/Toyo Tires-sponsored Chevrolet CK1500 Trophy Truck and a Jim Beam/Toyo Tires-sponsored Hummer H3. Gordon will make the 2,800-mile flight to Dover on Thursday evening before practicing and qualifying his Mapei and Menards-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo Friday. Following Friday's NASCAR sessions, he will again return to Ensenada where he will take the green flag in the Baja 500 at approximately 9 a.m. (PDT) Saturday.
He will start the Baja 500 in the Trophy Truck and drive approximately half of the race before turning the wheel over to his teammate Andy McMillin who will take the truck to the finish line (McMillin campaigns the Team Gordon truck full-time in the SCORE International Off-Road Series).
Shortly after Gordon starts the 500, his father, Bob, will start in the Hummer H3 where he will also drive half way and then turn the truck over to the younger Gordon who will in all likelihood complete the 424-mile course in the H3.
Immediately following the completion of the estimated seven-hour race, which begins and ends in Ensenada, Gordon will re-board his plane and take an overnight flight to Dover where he will start the Neighborhood Excellence 400 Sunday at 2:10 p.m. EDT.
"This is the sort of thing that I live for," Gordon said. "Obviously my primary focus is on our Nextel Cup effort but when I have an opportunity to compete in our Trophy Truck I take it. On paper the travel logistics look tough, but when it's over it really doesn't seem like it was all that hard.
"The only thing different from last year is that we're also driving the H3, which is the same truck we raced in the Dakar Rally in January. By running both trucks we'll be able to put a lot of development miles on the H3 in preparation for the next Dakar, and we also hope to defend our title. The H3 has been a very reliable truck but it was built to conform to the rules of the Dakar Rally, and that's the way we will race it in the 500, so it will be at a horsepower disadvantage to the unlimited horsepower Trophy Trucks. But my dad has still got what it takes to get the job done, and he doesn't make many mistakes, and if the H3 is as reliable as it has been in the past we could win with either truck."
Bob Gordon is himself a former Baja 1000 winner and for many has been affectionately known as "Baja Bob."
"I'm looking forward to having my dad back in a Team Gordon truck, and I hope that Andy gets his first win in the Trophy Truck class. He's a heck of a talent and if all goes well I expect to see him be the first to get back to Ensenada.
"The best thing about having such a long flight Saturday night back to Dover is that I'll get to sleep on the plane the entire trip and be ready for 400 more miles on Sunday. Getting our team's first win of the season there would put a topper on the whole weekend."