Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM) revealed Friday that it will race Dodges in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, forming an alliance with Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM). The agreement includes technical, manufacturing and marketing...
Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM) revealed Friday that it will race Dodges in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, forming an alliance with Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM). The agreement includes technical, manufacturing and marketing services support for Gordon’s No. 7 team. RGM joins Petty Enterprises and BAM Racing as teams that use Gillett Evernham Motorsports engines and technical assistance.
"We pride ourselves on being a leader in technology, innovation, and provider of top flight equipment to other Cup teams. This is another example of a team coming to us for help in areas where we believe we excel," said GEM co-owner George Gillett Jr. "This is an agreement to help a fellow Dodge team new to the family."
The move to the Dodge Charger marks the third consecutive year that RGM has switched brands. After moving his team to the Cup Series in 2005 with Chevys, Gordon made the switch to Fords in 2007. The owner/driver struggled last season, finishing 26th in drivers’ points and scoring only two top-10 finishes.
"I feel this agreement with Gillett Evernham Motorsports helps make the learning curve of the COT little bit easier to navigate," said Gordon. "I like what they have going on over there and I think both organizations will benefit. As an owner I want to do what is best for my employees and sponsors."
Despite finishing 28th in owners’ points, Gordon proved to be the most successful single-car team in the series. However, it has been difficult for any team to improve their performance on the racetrack without sharing resources and data with another car or team. Gordon has worked feverishly over the past seasons to run a second team under his own banner, but has been unable to find the budget.
"Robby has been running as a single-car team the last few years and that is a difficult task in our sport these days," Gillett Evernham Motorsports co-owner Ray Evernham said. "We plan to work with Robby and his team and pool some of the knowledge and make all of our teams better."
GEM Dodge powerplants will appear in Gordon’s car for the first time next week, once practice gets underway at Daytona International Speedway. While Gordon was to be provided with further support from Ford, he felt the move to Dodge was best financially for the team. Gordon already suffered a major financial blow this year due to the cancellation of the Dakar Rally. He lost an estimated $4.5 million from the event, which was cancelled due to terrorist threats.
"Ford has been very good to me, and this move is not a reflection on our relationship at all," said Gordon. "Ford was planning on supporting me, and even increasing its engineering support for my program in 2008. However, I felt that I needed to make this move to help put my team in a more stable financial situation in terms of marketing and sponsorship help.”
Ford is now left with eight full-time teams in the Cup Series. Roush Fenway Racing runs five Fusions; Yates Racing has two cars while Wood Brothers Racing fields one full-time Ford this season.
"Robby made a difficult decision to do what he thought was necessary to financially support and stabilize his race team,” said Doug Hervey, North American operations manager for Ford Racing Technology. “We were fully prepared to continue our commitment with him this year, and had plans to increase our level of engineering support, before he told us of this decision to partner up with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. As a manufacturer, we're disappointed to be losing him and his team, but understand the difficulties of running a one-car team in the sport today."