GM Racing - Robby Gordon post Baja 1000 interview
ROBBY GORDON, DRIVING THE RED BULL CHEVROLET CK1500 TROPHY TRUCK, TAKES THE OVERALL WIN AT THE 39TH ANNUAL SCORE/TECATE BAJA 1000. ON WINNING BAJA 1000 "Thank you. I am glad we finally won this thing again. It has been a long time since we won the ...
ROBBY GORDON, DRIVING THE RED BULL CHEVROLET CK1500 TROPHY TRUCK, TAKES THE OVERALL WIN AT THE 39TH ANNUAL SCORE/TECATE BAJA 1000.
ON WINNING BAJA 1000 "Thank you. I am glad we finally won this thing again. It has been a long time since we won the 1000. We have sponsorship over there from Red Bull, Chevrolet and Toyo Tires and it the first time Toyo has ever one the Baja 1000, in fact it is the first time that any one other than B.F. Goodrich has won the Baja 1000, or at least for about 20 years. We are really, really happy with the progress we have made with our off road program and we are obviously working hard on our Nextel Cup cars as well. Obviously we are here for the Ford NASCAR weekend, our car is decent. I think we were 28th in practice qualifying trim. The field is just so tight right now, fractions of a second make a big difference."
ON SIZE OF THE FIELD IN BAJA 1000 "I think that every since they came out with that movie "Dust to Glory", everybody and their Mom is racing off road now. The sport has gotten a lot more popular. With that many entries, it was pretty impressive. Actually I think there was 36 or 38 trophy trucks, which is quite amazing when you look at a trophy truck being a vehicle that costs about $750,000, you have to wonder where all this money is coming from to buy these trucks."
ON FRUSTRATION AFTER HAVING SO MUCH SUCCESS IN SO MANY OTHER ARENAS BUT NOT BEING AS SUCCESSFUL IN NASCAR CUP: "Good question. Refuse to lose; I think I have seen that before somewhere else. I know people question if we are going to be able to pull this off, I think, what is our best finish this year, second? We are going to win Nextel Cup races with our own team, I am confident about that. I am also confident with the things we are doing to our program to be stronger in 2007. We will be able to perform."
ON HOW MUCH OF BAJA 1000 HE RAN: "I drove from the start to a town called B, 725 miles, then Andy (McMillin) drove from there, about 275 miles or something like that."
ON PLANS FOR THE DAKAR RALLY: "Andy Grider, who navigated with me for the first half of the Baja Race, is going to be my navigator. He was actually in the movie "Dust to Glory" as well. He is a motorcycle racer, he actually raced the Dakar Rally last year and broke his pelvis on a motorcycle. This year he is going to navigate, which the reason why I thought he could navigate, is because if you could ride the motorcycle and basically look at your Mapquest directions at the same time at the same time you are riding your motorcycle at 100 mph, you should be able to look at the directions and point us in the right way. Plus he has a lot off-road experience over the years.
"This is the part we have been working on really hard is our GPS systems. Basically, we flew IRF for the first 400 miles. A couple times we would pass two and three trophy trucks at a time and they would be in the dust of a quad, and because we had our notes down so good, it will tell you if you are two or three feet off of centerline, and there were times we couldn't see the front bumper at 100 mph. Basically, imagine being in a fog, then we could see their lights and we would catch them, and we passed like three of them at a time, and they would be in line of like a quad running 70 or 80 mph. We would be able to leap by all of them. That is how we got past the guys, was basically by having good navigation tools and a navigator that could keep me on course. Think about these airplanes, they land them in the fog all the time, we have the same technology with the off-road cars in the dust."
ANY GOOD STORIES FROM RACE? "This one was pretty uneventful. We didn't have any real issues. When you win, you really don't have any issues, you dotted all of your 'i's' and crossed all of your 't's'. We started 31st, and the luck of the draw, it is like the Tour de France, you carry your time with you. Because I started 31st, I only had to be within 15 minutes of the leader to still be leading because of I started 15 ½ minutes behind them, one car every 30 seconds. I think we took over the lead on time by about the 400-mile marker. Then we physically took over the lead on the road, which then we knew we had at least a 15-minute cushion for a flat tire or something like that, which does happen. You guys would be amazed if you saw, how fast these cars actually go through the rocks. It is amazing that the tires even stay on the vehicle."
ON WHEN ACTUALLY TOOK OVER LEAD: "We beat Herbst and Roeseler by 47 minutes and when I handed the car to Andy, we were first on the road and I stuck around there for at least 30 minutes and they never came by. I think we them by 47 minutes and the next trophy truck by almost an hour and 15 minutes or something like that.
"Andy did do a great job and it has been fun having the McMillins as a part of our program. They have purchased the other truck that I built. I built two of these truck side-by-side and they have the sister truck to the race truck and they are going to campaign their own truck next year."
ON POSSIBLY DOING INDY 500/CHARLOTTE DOUBLE DUTY: "I think looking at least the package for the Indy 500 every team have the same tools to work with only one engine supplier, one tire manufacturer, it will probably be the most competitive it has ever been and that would be kind of fun. But, this year, I don't know what we are going to do based on Indy. I would rather wait until the first six or eight Cup races next year so we can say ok, are we sitting here in 15th in points, have we made the improvements we think we are going to make with our program next year, and then make that decision. Instead of just saying ok we are going to do it now, I have been offered a lot of rides out there to drive Indy."
-credit: gm racing