|After a number of misfires in getting his Winston Cup career
underway, Robby Gordon finally struck gold with team owner Richard
Childress in 2001. Gordon, who started the season with a five-year
deal to drive Morgan-McClure Motorsports' Chevrolets, was released
after five events.
After having a potential race winning car in both the Winston Cup road
races and scoring a second-place finish in the first, at Sears Point
Raceway, Gordon was hired to drive RCR's No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet for
the final nine races of the season after driver Mike Skinner elected to
get out of the car for reconstructive knee surgery.
While Gordon struggled in qualifying, missing three of those final nine
events and using provisional starts in two others, he scored his first
Winston Cup oval track top-10 at Phoenix and then ended the season
with a victory at New Hampshire. After making 17 starts, he easily had
his career high in winnings, $1,371,900.
Gordon's first taste of Winston Cup came in 1991, when he drove for
Junie Donlavey in the Daytona 500. He then drove the No. 28 Ford for
Robert Yates Racing at Talladega Superspeedway in that team's first
race following Davey Allison's death in 1993. He made single starts for
Kranefuss-Haas and Dale Earnhardt Inc. before signing on with Felix
Sabates in 1996, running 22 races with that team over the next two
Gordon formed his own Winston Cup team in 2000, running 17 races
and earning a 43rd-place finish in the overall standings. He finished
fourth at Watkins Glen and ninth at Sears Point.
A six-time off-road champion, he moved to sports cars in 1990,
winning five GTO races in 1991 and a Trans-Am race in 1992. He got
his first taste of Indy cars in 1993, driving for A.J. Foyt. Gordon then
went on to win four CART poles and races at Detroit and Phoenix in
1995. He also had success in the International Race of Champions,
finishing second in the series in 1996 and 1997.
Gordon nearly won the 1999 Indianapolis 500, running out of gas on
the final lap while leading.
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