CICERO, Ill. (Aug. 17, 1999) -- First-year Team Gordon and its youthful owner-driver, Robby Gordon, have tapped into another Southern California operation in an effort to hit the bull's-eye at this weekend's inaugural Target Grand Prix at the...
CICERO, Ill. (Aug. 17, 1999) -- First-year Team Gordon and its youthful owner-driver, Robby Gordon, have tapped into another Southern California operation in an effort to hit the bull's-eye at this weekend's inaugural Target Grand Prix at the brand new Chicago Motor Speedway.
The 30-year-old Gordon, the only owner-driver on the CART FedEx Championship Series who started his Anaheim, Calif.-based effort this past offseason with business partner Mike Held and home improvement store magnate John Menard, will drive an Eagle chassis recently acquired from legendary motorsports icon Dan Gurney and his All American Racers based in nearby Santa Ana, Calif.
"Hey, we didn't even have to leave the county (Orange) to get this prized catch," said Gordon, who's now-familiar blue- and rainbow-colored #22 Johns Manville/Panasonic/Menards Toyota-powered Champ car will also sport the signature Eagle graphics on its nose. "This is truly special, because I've known and followed Dan for a long time, and he really went out of his way to help us out. With our vastly improved Toyota engine and Firestone tires, we think we have the right combination to make a splash on the short oval at Chicago. I can't wait for Friday practice to begin."
Gordon comes to Chicago after his fourth points-producing finish of the season, a strong 10th-place finish in the Miller 200 at Mid-Ohio last weekend. He had back-to-back points-producing runs at Cleveland and Elkhart Lake earlier this summer, and turned heads with a dramatic run with the leaders in Japan in only the second race of the season.
Typical of a first-year team in this highly competitive, high-stakes arena of open wheel racing, Team Gordon also has endured its share of frustrations while engaging in a season-long process of fine-tuning its equipment and personnel.
"We'd like to think we're taking two steps forward for every step backward," Gordon said. "It's not the storybook season we might have been hoping for, but it's not over, yet! This is what you sign up for when you start a brand new operation from scratch. Overall, I think we're doing quite well."
Still pursuing its initial goal of bringing Toyota its first CART victory, Team Gordon now hopes to also be the first to put Gurney and his latest handiwork in the winner's circle for the very first time.
"Dan's got a 30-year history of winning races and championships," Gordon said. "Wouldn't it just be the greatest thing in the world if everything now fell into place? Chicago would be a great place to maybe sip some champagne on Sunday afternoon!"
Practice for the Target Grand Prix begins Friday (Aug. 20), with qualifying set for Saturday afternoon (Aug. 21). The green flag falls on Sunday (Aug. 21) at 2 p.m. CDT with ABC-TV set to broadcast the race on a one-hour tape delay at 4 p.m. EDT.