Robby Gordon to race both Dover and Baja

Robby Gordon to race both Dover and Baja
By MIKE FINNEY The News Journal

05/31/2006 Most of the drivers in the Nextel Cup Series will wait until Friday to start their race weekend at Dover International Speedway.

However, not surprisingly, Robby Gordon's wheels are already turning.

The versatile 37-year-old driver from Bellflower, Calif., is prepared to pull off double duty this weekend in NASCAR and Baja off-road racing.

Gordon hopes to defend his title in the Baja 500 on Saturday in Ensenada, Mexico -- where he will drive two different vehicles. He will also drive his Chevrolet in the Neighborhood Excellence 400 presented by Bank of America at Dover on Sunday.

"This is the sort of thing that I live for," Gordon said. "Obviously, my primary focus is on our Nextel Cup effort, but when I have the opportunity to compete in our Trophy Truck I take it."

When it is all said and done, Gordon will have traveled approximately 11,200 miles by air during the odyssey (nearly half the distance around the world) and more than 1,100 miles on the ground.

"The best thing about having such a long flight Saturday night back to Dover is that I'll get to sleep on the plane the entire trip and be ready for 400 more miles on Sunday," he said. "Getting our team's first win of the season [at Dover] would put a topper on the whole weekend."

Gordon's journey began Monday with a flight to Ensenada after Sunday's race in Charlotte, N.C. He'll be in Mexico through Wednesday practicing with both a CK1500 Trophy Truck and a Hummer H3.

He will then make the 2,800-mile flight to Dover on Thursday evening before practicing with his Chevrolet on Friday. Following Friday's Nextel Cup practice and qualifying sessions, he will again return to Ensenada where he will take the green flag in the Baja 500 about noon Saturday.

Gordon plans to start the Baja 500 in the Trophy Truck race and drive approximately half of it before turning the wheel over to his teammate Andy McMillin, who will finish.

Then, Gordon will take over the driver's seat of the Hummer H3 from his father, Bob, at the halfway mark and drive it to the finish of the 424-mile race.

Immediately following the finish of the estimated seven-hour race, Gordon will reboard his plane and take an overnight flight back to Dover.

Gordon is excited about the journey that awaits him.

"The only thing different from last year is that we're also driving the H3, which is the same truck we raced in the Dakar Rally in January," Gordon said. "By running both trucks we'll be able to put a lot of development miles on the H3 in preparation for the next Dakar, and we also hope to defend our title."

If he can't, he will just try to win in his car at Dover on Sunday.