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NASCAR Season Preview: Robby Gordon

Photo credit: Ned Leone

#7 Speed Energy Dodge, Robby Gordon Motorsports

Born: January 2, 1969

Home: Cerritos, California

2011 HIGHLIGHTS: Gordon launched Speed Energy, his own brand of energy drink, as a way to help keep his racing endeavors alive. He led the Daytona 500 for seven laps around the middle of the event, placing 16th at the end of the race.

2011 LOWLIGHTS: A garage altercation with Kevin Conway at Las Vegas in March landed Gordon on NASCAR probation, while a lack of external funding rendered the #7 team a start-and-parker for the second half of the 2011 season. Gordon put a variety of other drivers in his car as he engaged in other racing series, and only finished 11 of his 25 starts on the season.

SEASON OUTLOOK: It appears that, after years of fighting the good fight as an owner-driver, Gordon will be reduced to start-and-parking in most events in 2012, much as he finished 2011. That is, of course, if Gordon keeps his team going for the full season; his interest has waned in Sprint Cup somewhat over the past few years, as a multitude of penalties and lost sponsors have stripped away some of the fun of being an owner-driver.

With that being said, Gordon is still having fun as a top-tier race car driver; he just finished the 2012 Dakar Rally in fifth place overall. After another competitor accused Gordon of having an unfair advantage in his tire inflation system, he deactivated the parts in question and defiantly went on to win the next stage of the rally by 15 minutes. Gordon’s best days as a Sprint Cup driver are over, but with his off-road talent still intact and an ever-growing energy drink brand, his overall motorsports career is far from suffering the same fate.

– Chris Leone

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