Phoenix: Robby Gordon preview

NASCAR Cup Points Position: 23rd (same as last week) NOTES: * This week's No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet at PIR is Chassis No.106. It has been run in five other races this year. The best run was at California Speedway in ...

NASCAR Cup Points Position: 23rd (same as last week)

NOTES:

* This week's No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet at PIR is Chassis No.106. It has been run in five other races this year. The best run was at California Speedway in September, when Gordon posted a ninth-place, career-best finish on the Fontana track (started 35th). He also had a good run with the same car at Indy in August, where he was well on his way to a top-five finish when a blowout relegated him to 22nd (started 20th). The other 2004 runs include: Kansas (started 23rd, finished 28th), Texas (started 18th, finished 23rd) and Michigan in July (started 19th, finished 25th).

* Andrews family is expecting ... Crew Chief Chris Andrews will not be in Phoenix this weekend because he will be home with his expectant wife, anticipating the arrival of their first born. Substituting for Andrews will be Team Cingular engineer Greg Erwin. Erwin joined the Cingular team in August and has been a multi-team engineer at RCR since December 2002. Before coming to RCR, Erwin, of Mooresville, N.C., worked with Ganassi Racing, Team Sabco, and Diamond Ridge Motorsports. Andrews will be back with the team next weekend at Darlington Raceway.

* It's that Baja time of year ... Gordon flew directly from Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday night to San Felipe in Baja California, Mexico, to prepare to pre-run the course for the 2004 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in his sand car. He ran the course Monday and Tuesday with Greg Till, his co-driver for the Baja 1000. The duo drove from San Felipe to Loreto. Gordon will compete in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, coming up November 17 -- 21, racing in the No. 31 Red Bull Trophy Truck. Last month, Gordon drew to start eighth in the legendary off-road race. He plans to run the majority of the race, but will have to hand over the wheel to Steve Barlow, so he can head to Homestead, Fla., to compete in the final NASCAR Cup and Busch races of the season. Gordon competed in the 2003 Baja 1000, but fell short on his quest for a third Baja 1000 victory when mechanical problems forced him to drop out of the competition. The 35-year-old racer is a legend in Baja after several SCORE championships and successful runs in the Baja 1000. He won the race in a solo drive in 1989 and in 1987 as a co-driver with his father Bob Gordon. In addition to his 1989 and 1987 wins in the Baja 1000, Gordon scored a third-place finish in the 2002 Baja 1000, a fifth-place finish in the 1999 race and nearly won the grueling race in a late charge in 1997 before finishing in the runner-up spot. Additionally, he won four of the seven events in the 1996 SCORE Trophy Truck Series en route to the series championship, including a third-place finish in the Baja 1000. Gordon also won five consecutive SCORE/HDRA Heavy Metal Off-Road championships between 1986 and 1990. To learn more about the 37th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, go to www.score-international.com.

* Burton and Cingular in '05 ... RCR announced Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that Jeff Burton will finish the season behind the wheel of the No. 30 Chevrolet and then move to its No. 31 Cingular Wireless team for the 2005 NASCAR Cup season. Burton has scored nine top-15 finishes, including one top-five and three top-10 finishes, in only 11 NASCAR Cup series starts since his arrival at RCR in early August. It also was announced Cingular Wireless extended its contract with RCR through 2007. The Atlanta-based telecommunications leader has sponsored the team since 2002.

* Cingular Chevy's new look ... This weekend the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet will continue to carry the new paint scheme that symbolizes Cingular's new status as the nation's biggest wireless carrier. Cingular now serves more than 46 million customers with the largest digital voice and data network in the United States. The special paint scheme will remain on the No. 31 Chevy the remainder of the 2004 season, but is not the car's new look for 2005.

* Gordon won World Series ... Gordon won the April 1995 PPG Indy car World Series at Phoenix.

* Seven was his lucky number ... Gordon started seventh and finished seventh in the April 1994 CART race at Phoenix.

* Back to Busch racing ... Gordon also will be competing as a driver and team owner in the NASCAR Busch Series Bashas'

Supermarkets 200 Saturday, Nov. 6, behind the wheel of the No. 55 Robby Gordon Motorsports Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet.

* Check it out ... The Checker Auto Parts 500 NASCAR Cup race is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 7, and will broadcast LIVE on NBC, MRN and XM Radio. Qualifying for the Checker Auto Parts 500 is scheduled to start at 4:10 p.m. EDT Friday, Nov. 5, and will broadcast LIVE on SPEED, MRN and XM Radio.

R. Gordon on racing at Atlanta and Phoenix:

"It's hard to think back to last year at this time, but I think we had about as much fun at Phoenix last year as we did this past weekend at Atlanta ... or at least as much as we did in the last 30 laps at Atlanta. I don't know what happened this past weekend with my front brakes, but they just decided to check out. Last year, at Phoenix, my rear brakes were the nemesis. It was a tough weekend for RCR as a whole, because I don't think any of us finished inside the top 25 there last year.

"Phoenix International Raceway is one of my favorite tracks. I've won there in open-wheel and it is just a fun track. There are a lot of opportunities to pass, especially if you are on the high groove. I also look forward to seeing the SAFER walls at PIR, which were installed earlier this year like many other NASCAR tracks. I love to race but I love it even more when you know tracks take the time and make the investment to go the extra mile to do everything possible to take care of the drivers. That's especially comforting at PIR, a track that was once known as the "World's Fastest One-Mile Oval. It's weird to think we'll be back there sooner than later, with the addition of the Phoenix race in the spring next year. I wish they would make it a night race because if the fans think they love the race now, just wait until they see one at night."

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Robby Gordon , Greg Erwin
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing