IRL: Robby Gordon - double-duty Memorial Day weekend

Robby Gordon to attempt two greens, two checkereds and 1,100 miles on Memorial Day Weekend Cingular to sponsor race teams for Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 WELCOME, N.C., -- Cingular Wireless will sponsor both race teams in Robby Gordon's third attempt...

Robby Gordon to attempt two greens, two checkereds and 1,100 miles on Memorial Day Weekend
Cingular to sponsor race teams for Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600

WELCOME, N.C., -- Cingular Wireless will sponsor both race teams in Robby Gordon's third attempt at the Indianapolis 500/Coca- Cola 600 "double" May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway for car owners Richard Childress and John Menard.

Gordon will drive the No. 31 Menard/Childress/Cingular Wireless Chevrolet- powered Dallara in the Indianapolis 500 and the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the Coca-Cola 600.

Gordon had high hopes for the Memorial Day weekend feat in 2000 and 1997 but never enjoyed a true "double" due to weather delays both years. A rain delay in the 2000 Indianapolis 500 caused Gordon to miss the start of the Coca-Cola 600, while rain postponed the 1997 Indianapolis 500 until the following Monday. Although he has not enjoyed the full "double" experience, Gordon has logged four top-six finishes in seven Indianapolis 500 starts and was leading on the next-to-last lap of the 1999 race before running out of fuel (he finished fourth).

"I'm really pumped up about the chance to run the double again and hopefully win both races with Cingular Wireless," Gordon said. "I've been competitive in the Indy 500 every year and have come within a lap of winning it. We've just let a few slip away from us. With John Menard's experience at Indy and Richard Childress's winning experience in Winston Cup, I think the Cingular Wireless car is going to have a good shot at winning both races."

Gordon qualified fourth and finished sixth in the 2000 Indy 500 but rain delayed the event and prevented him from starting the Coca-Cola 600. P.J. Jones started the NASCAR Winston Cup event in Gordon's place, but the event was red-flagged due to rain after the completion of 261 laps. Gordon climbed into the Winston Cup car following the rain delay and went on to finish 35th.

In 1997, rain forced the postponement of the Indianapolis 500 until Monday, so Gordon flew to Charlotte, started Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 from the 42nd position and finished 35th. He started 12th and finished 29th in the Indy 500 the next day.

Gordon initially became acquainted with Childress at the 2001 Indianapolis 500 when he drove a car co-owned by Childress and A.J. Foyt. Gordon qualified third and led 22 laps. Other than 1996 and 1999, Gordon has competed in the Indianapolis 500 each year since 1993.

"I've been wanting to get Robby back in the Indy 500 since last year when we first teamed up," said Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. "I didn't know much about him at the time but got to know him and realized how talented he is. He did a fantastic job in that race and has done nothing less for Cingular Wireless and RCR ever since. He got his first Winston Cup win with us and we're hoping he also gets his first Indy 500 win with us this year."

This year's "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" will not be Gordon's first venture with Menard, either. Menard co-owned Gordon's 1999 and 2000 Indy 500 teams, as well as his 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series team. Team Menard will build and crew the Menard/Childress/Cingular Wireless Dallara/Chevrolet. Gordon is also reuniting with his former crew chief Dave Forbes for the 500- mile race. Forbes was Gordon's crew chief during the 1999 CART Series and in the 1999 Indy 500.

"I couldn't be more excited to team up with Cingular Wireless, Richard Childress and Robby Gordon for this year's Indy 500," said Menard, owner of Team Menard. "It's good to have Robby back in the Team Menard stable. We have a strong history together at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, after coming close to winning in 1999 and 2000. I'd like to put that win to bed and now with both Jaques (Lazier) and Robby, we stand a great chance to come out on the other side of the coin and celebrate in Victory Lane."

"Robby's double-duty will provide double exposure for the Cingular brand," said Daryl Evans, Vice President, Advertising for Cingular. "We believe Indy Car racing fans will have the same enthusiastic response as our NASCAR fans for Cingular's sponsorship of motor sports."


Cingular Wireless is the second largest wireless carrier in the U.S., and is dedicated to self-expression and customer-friendly service. As a leader in mobile voice and data communications for both individuals and enterprises, Cingular, a joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth, currently serves more than 21.6 million consumer and business customers nationwide. Cingular offers customers advanced technologies in simple, cost-effective ways that permit them to tap the creative potential of wireless through their own self-expression. Details of the company are available at


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robby Gordon , P.J. Jones
Teams Richard Childress Racing