TEAM GORDON ANNOUNCES CREW CHIEF, ENGINEER, AND MOTOR PROGRAM FOR 2000 WINSTON CUP EFFORT
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 3, 2000) Starting the new year on the right foot, and running, Team Gordon announced three key elements to its 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup program. Fred Graves, previously technical director of Hendrick Motorsports, will lead as crew chief; Doug Louth, former Ford Racing & Vehicle Dynamics engineer, anchors the engineering department; and Peter Guild, in a newly created partnership with Team Gordon, will build engines exclusively for this venture.
Each of these individuals adds a wealth of experience to the first-year Team Gordon operation, which as announced before Thanksgiving, acquired the assets of Irvan-Simo Racing, including its Mooresville shop.
"We had a lot of irons in the fire when it came to crew chiefs," said Robby Gordon, who eagerly awaits the opportunity to test his #13 Ford Taurus. "Fred Graves represented the best choice for me. He has an excellent reputation in the industry, has worked with top teams, won races and championships, and above all, Fred commands respect because of his accomplishments. For me, I can feel confident with Fred that when I get off the plane at any track, the car will be ready to race.
Gordon has reached the same comfort level with head engineer Doug Louth, who comes from a deep background in design engineering at the Ford Motor Company. Louth was responsible in 1999 for the design of Irvan-Simo's road course chassis, which qualified Boris Said on the front row at Watkins Glen. Working with Louth and Graves as assistant crew chief will be NASCAR veteran Jerry Baxter, who comes from an extensive background in building Winston Cup chassis.
"There was no question in my mind when Fred became available that Team Gordon would be the right situation for him, and for us," said Lee Morse, Team Manager. "His experience and wisdom, coupled with sound engineering from Doug Louth and Jerry Baxter, will give Robby plenty of ammunition to be successful."
Currently, Team Gordon has nine cars completely prepared, including both of its 2000 Taurus models for the Feb. 20 Daytona 500.
"I'm ready to drive, right now," said Gordon, "Christmas was great, and so was New Years, but I have my helmet in my bag and I'm primed to start testing. As the rest of the world proved Saturday, we are Y2K compliant, as well - no bugs at this time. Everybody has been working hard to get ready for Daytona and all systems are go, on schedule. We have a full slate of tests this month, including the Ford Daytona test, so basically, it's time to get it on."
Along with the news of Graves and Louth, Team Gordon has announced a joint venture with Pro Motor Engineering (PME), which has eight Winston Cup wins to its credit, including the Brickyard 400, Dover, Rockingham and Martinsville.
Guild, president of PME, brings an impressive resume of engine building that began in the late 1970s with drag racing, continuing on to IMSA GTP, offshore powerboat racing, and, in 1985, NASCAR, which has been his company's focus ever since.
"One of the things on our immediate list to success was getting involved in an engine program with exclusivity," said Mike Held, Team Gordon co-owner. "PME and Peter Guild showed us an outstanding engine development facility, a great track record for power and reliability, and, most importantly, an eagerness to work with Robby Gordon and our team of qualified racing professionals. This, combined with Fred Graves, Lee Morse, Doug Louth, Jerry Baxter and Randy Anderson, should provide the opportunity to have a consistent, prosperous showing all year long."