Robby Gordon to switch to Toyota for 2009 season
Move pairs RGM with fourth manufacturer in four years.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Robby Gordon Motorsports announced Tuesday that it will partner with Toyota beginning in the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season.
“We are excited to be partnering with Toyota in NASCAR in 2009,” said Robby Gordon, team owner. “After watching their progress last season, we decided that a switch to Toyota was the right package for our team. We are confident that fielding a Toyota Camry will add to the success of our organization and the competitiveness of our performance on the race track.”
Toyota’s first involvement with Gordon dates back to 1989 when he became the youngest grand national sport truck driver to win a championship in a TRD-powered Toyota truck. Gordon and TRD hope to continue this successful pattern in the Sprint Cup Series.
“I’ve known Robby as a driver, team owner and fierce competitor since 1990,” said Lee White, president of TRD, U.S.A. “We’ve raced together in Off-Road, IMSA, SCCA and Indy Car and have shared many memorable challenges and victories. It will be exciting to see how the association between Robby, his team, Toyota and TRD will develop in 2009. I promise you that it will not be boring to watch.”
The manufacturer switch is Gordon’s fourth in the last four years. He previously ran Chevrolets in 2006 and Fords in 2007. But just a week before the 2008 Daytona 500, Gordon partnered his No. 7 team’s engine program with Gillett Evernham Motorsports and switched to Dodge in the process.
Gordon’s partnership with GEM, however, turned rocky late in the season. The two organizations had planned to merge, but disagreements in the plans led to GEM suing Robby Gordon Motorsports for breach of contract. The suit was later dropped, and Gordon got his engines from Penske Racing the rest of the year.
Under the Dodge camp, Gordon had three top-10 finishes last year -- two at Daytona, and one at Talladega -- with an average finish of 29.0.
Gordon is locked into the first five races of 2009, having finished this past season inside the top 35 in owner points. He was 34th, but jumped two positions after DEI shut down two of its cars upon merging with Chip Ganassi Racing.
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