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Robby Gordon struggling to put together a full NASCAR schedule, but an Indy 500 bid is in the cards

  Robby Gordon, planning another Indy 500 run (Photo:Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Robby Gordon is expanding his horizons this spring, and cutting back on his NASCAR racing. And his pending Indianapolis 500 bid looks intriguing.
   Gordon sometimes looks like a glutton for punishment: he just ran in the South American Dakar Rally (he finished third in that last year),  and last season he won the SCORE off-road championship, while running NASCAR full-time.
   Now he's returning to the Indy 500 this May. Gordon ran Indianapolis 10 times (1993-2004) and in 1999 he came closest to winning, leading on the last lap when he ran out of gas. And he's one of only three NASCAR stars to run both the 500 and the Charlotte 600 the same day.
    Gordon says his new Indy 500 program is "80 to 90 yards down the field.
   "We'll do internally, but with help. Derrick Walker, who won 12 Indy 500s as general manager for Roger Penske, will help us. That's nice, because he was with us before, and he's got a shop in Indianapolis.
    "Derrick, an old buddy of mine, and I have been in negotiations, getting our parts and pieces put together. It will be a Robby Gordon Motorsports program, but we'll go with Derrick's expertise in management."
    Gordon says he'll actually be able to race a five-year-old Indy Dallara "because they've kept the spec the same.
    "But obviously the engine package and tire compounds have changed."
    Another plus, Gordon's NASCAR engineer, Ian Watt, has won at Indy before. "So he knows how to get it done," Gordon says.
  However Gordon is still piecing together a NASCAR schedule. He'll be 'partnering' with Beth Ann Morgenthau at times this season; for example, he'll be driving one of her cars at California next week. But at Las Vegas the following week, he'll driving one of his own cars again, with Monster as sponsor.


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