ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger)
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH DODGE? "I want to start off and tell you how excited I am about this opportunity. AT RGM (Robby Gordon Motorsports), we haven't had a factory program for two years. We kind of rode it out with Toyota, but it wasn't a factory program. We really didn't get any help and that's the truth of the matter. The motors were good. I don't have any complaints about the motors or the way that the program went. They had their priority teams prior to us rolling in. My Gillett-Evernham program that was a Dodge program before was all through Gillett-Evernham.
"When I went to their (Chrysler) facility 65 to 70 days ago, I was thoroughly impressed. One, with what they are producing for cars. Second, what their facility is compared to the other two in Detroit. Whoever hasn't been to Dodge, it's a beautiful facility. They have all the tools to do what they need to do. I feel with guys that they have in charge with Ralph (Gilles, president and CEO of Dodge) and Bryan (Viger, Head of Dodge Motorsports), and all the guys in the motorsports program, I'm excited about the direction that they're headed with Dodge and there is multiple opportunities with Robby Gordon Motorsports."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT USING PENSKE ENGINES? "The best that we ran with the COT is when I had my split with Gillett-Evernham. I knew I wasn't going to partner with them. I bolted a Penske engine and we ran in the top 15 pretty much every week. I've known Roger (Penske), heck, for my whole career. I've idolized him and love the way that he runs his programs. I respect him tremendously. He's the Captain. Back when we raced Indy cars he was the top, top team that everybody idolized. I had one opportunity to drive for Roger and I choose the Felix Sabates stock car program because I thought that was right direction for my team, for me as driver at that time. Roger's cars handle on the straightaway. You have to handle on the straightaway. When 85 percent of your lap at most NASCAR races is full throttle, you better handle on the straightaway. The new Dodge engine (R6P8) that they came out with last year, the way that they ran being the two fastest cars here in Daytona (during speedway test), I'm excited about the package that I picked."
HOW MUCH DID YOU HAVE TO SELL DODGE ON YOUR PROGRAM? "This program actually started about a year back. If Penske would not have reduced down to two cars, there wouldn't have been an opportunity for me just because they (Dodge) had their program. When that happened, it opened up a great opportunity for us. We get to play in the 'Fast and the Furious' program with them which fires out the whole month of April which is perfect for SPEED Energy. SPEED is about a fast and speedy lifestyle."
DID YOU GET TO WALK THROUGH DODGE'S WIND TUNNEL WHEN YOU VISITED DETROIT? "I toured the place when I negotiated our deal. They were unveiling to their employees their new vehicles. So it was perfect because I got to see their new product line coming out not only for 2011, but what was coming out for 2012 and 2013. They've got some very exciting cars on the horizon."
WHAT DOES YOUR 2011 CUP SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE? "It's an interesting question. Last year Jamie McMurray started off a little uncertain on how their program was going to be. It's just amazing how a good result at Daytona can change your season one way of another. Right now, I'm gonna say that we're good for 18 NASCAR events. There are other things that I want to do. It's not that I don't want to race. There's other event that I'd like to do. With my specialized situation that happened with SPEED, that put us back about 60 days. That probably jacked our Indy 500 program. We're really starting to gain some momentum. We're (SPEED Energy) selling product and that's a good thing. We're gaining more distribution on a daily basis and we're kind of controlling our own destiny. Our program is different with sponsors than it was before. We're really not selling sponsors, we're selling, 'Hey, the spots next to Red Bull and Monster. Those are the spots that I want on your shelf and I'll give you Daytona.' So we've been able to do deals with GNC. We've done deals with Basha's. We've signed up multiple, multiple Budweiser distribution deals. Our product is just starting to roll again. We control our own destiny. I am the driver. I am the owner, kind of the sponsor, except for our sponsorship with Dodge. We can be as creative as we want to do."
-source: dodge motorsports