USA throws down Nations' Cup gauntlet: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Travis Pastrana prepare to take on the world. SAN REMO, ITALY (Sept. 19, 2002) - NASCAR's reigning Winston Cup Champion, Jeff Gordon, NASCAR Winston Cup rookie sensation ...
USA throws down Nations' Cup gauntlet:
Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Travis Pastrana prepare to take on the world.
SAN REMO, ITALY (Sept. 19, 2002) - NASCAR's reigning Winston Cup Champion, Jeff Gordon, NASCAR Winston Cup rookie sensation Jimmie Johnson and teenage phenom and multiple X-Games champion, Travis Pastrana will represent the United States of America in the Michelin Race of Champions Nations' Cup Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 in Gran Canaria (off the coast of Spain).
The United States team will do battle against some of the best drivers in the world including the drivers from F-1, World Rally Cars and Motor bikes.
"I love the format of the event," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "Pitting the best drivers in the world from all forms of motorsports against each other in a head-to-head elimination contest will be exciting."
The Michelin Race of Champions is an action-packed, sun-drenched weekend of head-to-head dueling between the kings of world motorsports. Now in its fourth year, the Nations' Cup has quickly become the star attraction of the weekend. The contest sees each participating nation enter a team of three, comprising one rally/off-road driver, one circuit racer and one bike rider. The teams will compete in world rally cars on a parallel track that is 30 percent pavement and 70 percent dirt.
"Personally, I can't wait for the competition," explained Johnson, who's Lowe's team is currently third overall in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings. "Jeff is going to be our asphalt driver and Travis is going to be our bike rider, so that leaves me racing against the off road guys. It will be very challenging competing against top drivers like Markus Gronholm and other dirt specialists in the competition. I grew up off road racing and have raced in the Baja 1000 and in the stadium truck series in the mid-1990's, so I'm confident that I'll be able to hold my own and compete against the best in the world."
Fredrik Johnson, president of race organizers, IMP, stated, "Since we introduced the Nations' Cup to the Michelin Race of Champions in 1999, the event's appeal and reputation has spread like wild fire across world motor sport.
"This year's Team USA is a great example - we've got the biggest name in US motorsports, Jeff Gordon, as team captain, his NASCAR protege and currently 3rd placed driver in the Winston Cup, Jimmie Johnson, and one of the world's most exciting young extreme sports talents, Travis Pastrana."
Jim Hancock, CEO of Cathexis Lab and organizer of Team USA, is thrilled with the members of Team USA, "We have put together a strong United States team that I know will represent the country well. This is the best American team we have had in the competition and I am confident we will have a strong showing in the Nations' Cup."
Travis Pastrana summed up the Michelin Race of Champions Nations' Cup best, "It is a great honor for me to be a part of the US team," said Pastrana. "This Race of Champions is all about having fun but with so many top racers from around the globe, the competition is sure to be intense."