CHAMPCAR/CART: Homestead - Robby Gordon First Oval Test

ROBBY GORDON HAS FIRST OVAL TRACK TEST IN NEW TEAM GORDON TOYOTA-SWIFT HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 5, 1999) - When the CART FedEx Championship Series drivers visited South Florida for Spring Training in February in preparation for the March...

ROBBY GORDON HAS FIRST OVAL TRACK TEST IN NEW TEAM GORDON TOYOTA-SWIFT

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 5, 1999) - When the CART FedEx Championship Series drivers visited South Florida for Spring Training in February in preparation for the March 21 Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota, Robby Gordon was on the sidelines. The 30-year-old Californian organized a new team over the off-season, forming a partnership with John Menard and Mike Held. He tested the Team Gordon Johns Manville/Panasonic Toyota Swift for the first time last week in CART's open test at Laguna Seca, Calif., and was sixth fastest with a lap of 117.33 mph. Gordon tested his new Swift for the first time on an oval Thursday at Homestead. Friday, he ran a lap of 208.494 mph, 10th fastest of 13 drivers in the private test session. "This is the first time we ran the Swift chassis on an oval, and we're sneaking up on it," said Gordon, whose resume includes NASCAR Winston Cup, off-road and sports car competition in addition to a pair of victories and four pole positions in CART FedEx Championship Series competition. "I had a good test at Laguna last week. Road courses are a little easier to set up for than an oval. You've got to be real careful to not have an 'oops' with it - you really pay a big price when you have that happen on an oval. We only have one car right now, due to being a new team late in the game, but by the time we leave here Saturday we should have a handle on it." While Team Gordon faces a steep learning curve against the more experienced CART competitors, Gordon hasn't lowered his expectations. " If we didn't think we could win, we wouldn't enter," he said. "I think that we will be very competitive when we return here. We're still a new team learning about the Swift chassis, the Firestone tires, the Toyota engine. When we come back, I think we'll have our guns loaded and be ready to go racing." The Grand Prix of Miami weekend also includes the season opener for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Saturday's Florida Dodge Dealers 400. For ticket orders, call (305) 230-7223. For additional information, visit the Speedway's official web site, www.racemiami.com.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Robby Gordon