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Robby Gordon resurfaces, to announce a new 'IROC' Truck series

Robby Gordon resurfaces, to announce a new 'IROC' Truck series

Robby Gordon: launching a new stadium racing series (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

    By Mike Mulhern

    DOVER, Del.
    Robby Gordon, idled on the NASCAR circuit since March, is launching a new 'off-road' venture, that he's billing as the Stadium
Super Truck series….a la Mickey Thompson.
   In apparently something of an 'IROC' racing project.
    Gordon's own off-road exploits are of course legend, from the Baja to Dakar. His Orange, Calif., race shop builds those vehicles.
    But Gordon's NASCAR work lately, well, since that Did Not Start at Bristol in mid-March, followed by a Did Not Qualify at California the next week, Gordon has virtually vanished from the stock car world, returning to his off-road roots. This weekend, for example, Gordon is racing in the Baja 500.
    Thompson, who died in 1988, is the famed racer who pioneered stadium racing, bringing off-road into big city arena.
    Gordon's announcement Thursday in Los Angeles was short on details, like what drivers will actually participate. But Gordon says the new series will kick off April 2013 with a six to 10 race schedule, including events in Los Angeles and San Diego. The full schedule is to be announced July 15th.
   Television, of course, would have to a significant factor in the series' success, but there have been no particulars yet on that, just that network TV has an "opportunity."
   Sponsorship too would be a factor.
   In his presentation Gordon says the 'Super Trucks' will be 'spec' trucks, with 600 hp V-8s, with 20-inch wheel-travel, and racing on street tires, in what he plans as Friday-Saturday events.
   Fellow NASCAR racer Paul Menard said he had received an invite to the new series, and Gordon has sent out invites to a number of other drivers too. No word yet on who's ready to sign up for the series, which is to pay $40,000 to each event winner, and $500,000 to the overall series winner.

   Mark Martin: fastest on a long run during Dover 400 practice, on what is shaping up as a Toyota weekend (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   Ryan Truex, the younger brother of NASCAR veteran Martin Truex Jr., just had an emergency appendectomy May 23rd, and yet he's recovered quickly enough to get the doctor's okay to race here this weekend in Saturday's Nationwide race.
   "When I was laying there in the hospital bed, I guess it was last Monday night (May 21), I didn't think there was any way I'd
be able to race," the 20-year-old Truex said.
    "I was just hoping I wouldn't have to get surgery, because I really wanted to race Dover.  
   "Even after surgery, I was laying there thinking there was no way I'll be ready by Dover.  
    "The doctor said 'Come back next week and we'll see how you're doing.' And for some reason I just healed up quickly. This Tuesday or Wednesday morning when I went to see him, he said everything was good.
    "I was feeling good.  Now I'm pretty much back to 100 percent.  
     "I was lucky I caught it early and that I was able to heal quickly."
    And he insists no pain.
    "My stitches are all gone," he says.  "My stomach looks a little strange, but other than that I'm pretty much 100 percent.
    "I should be good.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I'm pretty sure I'll be alright."
    And no backup driver planned.
    "The plan was if I couldn't race, my brother was going to race it," he said. "There was no way I was allowing that.  
     "I knew if he got in the car, he'd win….It's my turn."
    And if Truex hits the wall?
     "If I hit the wall, I hit the wall.  There's nothing I can do about it.  
     "He cleared me to race… and hitting the wall is part of it."

  Charlotte's pit road, here, is wide and long. But Dover has one of the stock car tour's tightest pit roads (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

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