Robby Gordon Test Driver For Arciero-Wells RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., (January 27, 1998) - Arciero-Wells Championship Auto Racing Team and Precision Preparation, Inc. (PPI) announced today that they have...
Robby Gordon Test Driver For Arciero-Wells
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., (January 27, 1998) - Arciero-Wells Championship Auto Racing Team and Precision Preparation, Inc. (PPI) announced today that they have signed Robby Gordon as a test and engine development driver and consultant. Gordon, of Orange, Calif., will debut with the team at Championship Auto Racing Team's (CART) third annual spring training at Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex which will be conducted February 3 through February 5, 1998. Gordon also will compete in selected events in the 1998 FedEx Championship Series with the sponsors for this entry to be announced at a later date.
Arciero-Wells and All American Racers have been partnered as the two development teams for Toyota. Both of these successful Southern California- based teams have worked with Toyota for over 15 years in its many motorsports endeavors. All American Racers was nominated four years ago to be Toyota's CART development team and Arciero-Wells joined in this effort one year later.
"Adding Gordon as the fifth Toyota driver will be a true asset in continuing and furthering the Toyota program and getting it to the front," said Cal Wells III. "It's a natural fit. I have known Robby for most of his life and he won a drivers' championship for us in 1989. His father, Bob, drove for me and won the Baja 500 with me. Robby was just a kid winning his first Mickey Thompson Stadium Championship and was in a PPI-prepared Toyota. It is good to have him back. We selected Robby not only because of our strong personal relationship but because he is a seasoned driver who will help us continue the development of our CART program and the Toyota engine program. He has extensive experience working with development programs. His talent and technical knowledge will be an asset to everyone involved with the program."
"I think we have some of the finest young drivers in the world," said Lee White, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) general manager. "We already know what kind of talents we have in the returning drivers, PJ Jones, Max Papis and Hiro Matsushita. I think Alex Barron will really surprise some people. He doesn't have a lot of experience, but he's already shown us he's one of the top young Americans in the sport. Of course, in Robby Gordon we have a proven CART winner. I've personally worked with Robby at Roush Racing and there's no doubt that he's a true talent. He will bring a lot to the program, obviously from a racing standpoint, but also in Arciero-Wells testing program and in working with both Max and Hiro."
"Robby's first pro off-road win was with me," said Frank Arciero Jr. "The Arciero, Gordon and Wells families have always raced together; Robby grew up with us. He has a lot of talent and I believe he will push Max and Max will challenge Robby; this will help our racing program."
Gordon's many accomplishments include two CART wins and four CART poles, as well as numerous off-road championships..
"Being on a team with the right chemistry is important in the equation and is especially important in racing," said Gordon. "I have a bond with Cal and Toyota; it is a winning combination. Cal and I have a strong personal relationship that goes way back."
PPI, started by Cal Wells III in 1979, specializes in building winning off-road racing trucks. PPI has won 23 off-road championships and now features a work force of more than 130 employees at its facilities in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. Wells expanded his winning team and company into other racing venues, partnering with veteran CART team owner Frank Arciero Sr. in 1995 to form Arciero-Wells. In 1998, the team will campaign driver Max Papis in the MCI-sponsored entry and Hiro Matsushita in a Panasonic-Duskin-sponsored entry. Both drivers will use 1998 Reynard chassis with Firestone Tires powered by Toyota. PPI will continue its off-road racing division with Ivan "Ironman" Stewart at the wheel of a V8- powered Toyota truck in the Trophy Truck Class of the SCORE Off-Road Series. For the second year it also will enter two drivers in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship series.
"Coming back to CART presents a real challenge," said Gordon. "The competitiveness, team to team, is incredible. I am going to work hard to get to the front as quickly as possible. I have had the good fortune to be associated with some of the best companies and teams in racing. Being back with Toyota is making my return very special. I know Frank (Arciero), Cal (Wells) and everyone at TRD is committed to the CART racing program and winning. I am glad to be back on the Championship Car circuit with this team."
GORDON AT A GLANCE
1976 Began racing motocross at seven. Rode for factory Team Green Kawasaki Amateur program for three years.
1985 Began off-road truck racing, winning the first race he entered, the Nevada Frontier 500, sharing the duties with Frank Arciero. Finished ahead of second place driver, his father and off-road driver, Bob Gordon. Scored victory in first-ever Mickey Thompson Stadium (MTEG) series event he entered.
1986 Teamed with his father to win four off-road events. Won his first SCORE/HDRA championship and Rookie of the Year title.
1987 Won the SCORE/HDRA championship.
1988 Won the SCORE/HDRA and MTEG championship titles. Won four off-road races. Raced own MTEG entry. Elected to the All American Racing Writers Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) All American Team. 1988 and 1989 Voted Off-Road Driver of the Year.
1989 Drove for the factory Toyota team, winning six of eight events and the MTEG Drivers' Championship. Won five off-road truck races including driving solo for almost 17 hours in the Baja 1000. Elected to AARWBA All American Team.
1990 Moved from dirt to pavement competition in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) GTO/GTU. Won five races including the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona. Finished second in GTO Drivers' Championship. Won the SCORE/HDRA Heavy Metal Off-Road Championship. Won the pole and led the race in his first-ever career stock car start in an Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event.
1991 IMSA GTO/GTU competition, five wins including the 24 Hours of Daytona for the second consecutive year. Started two NASCAR Winston Cup events.
1992 Started CART competition; ran a partial season, seven events, becoming CART's only rookie to lead a lap. Won in IMSA GTO/GTS competition and became three-time winner in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Won first career pole and race in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans-Am competition.
1993 First full season of CART competition. Finished tenth in the CART drivers' standings with four top-five finishes and six top-ten finishes. Won the 24 Hours of Daytona in IMSA GTS competition. Started 14th in NASCAR race at Talladega. Ran selected off-road races with a second place finish at the Nevada 400.
1994 Finished fifth in the CART drivers' standings; won first CART pole at Toronto and set track record, also won pole in Vancouver. Voted Most Improved Driver by CART peers. Had nine top-ten finishes in CART competition. Also raced in SCORE International Off-Road Racing, NASCAR Winston Cup racing and drove in NASCAR's newest series, Supertruck competition.
1995 First CART career win at Phoenix; posted a second win at Detroit from the pole. Also won the pole at Nazareth. Finished fifth in the drivers' standings. Finished eighth in the SCORE International Trophy Truck Class championship.
1996 Signed with Team SABCO for 1997 at the end of the 1996 CART season, competing in three 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup events. Other racing competitions included Indy Racing League (IRL); started third at the Indy 500 and finished 14th. Won first-ever Trophy Truck Class Championship in SCORE as team owner and driver. Raced in NASCAR Craftsman Supertruck and International Race of Champions (IROC).
Source: CART Oline