Owner - Robby Gordon
Manufacturer - Ford
Cars and Drivers
No. 7 Jim Beam
Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM) is an operation that fields one car in the Sprint Cup Series for owner-driver Robby Gordon. This will be Gordon's fourth season as an owner-driver of the independent race team bearing his name. As a one-car operation, RGM is at a significant disadvantage.
Still, the team has managed to show progress in each of its three years in existence. Last year's 26th-place finish in driver points was the No. 7 car's best finish in the team's short existence, having finished 37th in 2005 and 30th in 2006. Gordon ran 35 of 36 races in 2007, missing only the June Pocono Raceway race due to a suspension over an incident of insubordination at the Busch race in Montreal. He managed one top five at Watkins Glen International in 2007 and an additional top 10 at Dover International Speedway in June. Gordon is best on the road courses, namely at Watkins Glen and Sonoma (Infineon Raceway), where he posted a 10.5 average finish in 2007. Two of Gordon's three career wins have come on road courses. He was at his worst at short tracks in 2007, with a 32.7 average finish. Overall, Gordon's average finish was 25.7.
The No. 7 team has seen a revolving door at crew chief recently. Frank Kerr starts the season as crew chief in 2008, taking over for the departing Pete Sospenzo. Sospenzo replaced Gene Nead last September when Nead left to join the Wood Brothers Racing team. Pit strategy is key at road course races, so Gordon's shot at a win in 2008 could hinge on a Kerr call.
Equipment and Resources
Some romanticize about the throwback nature of Gordon being an owner-driver. However, the reality is that, as mentioned, as a one-car shop, Robby Gordon Motorsports is at a significant financial, and therefore technological, disadvantage versus the larger teams that dominate the field in Sprint Cup racing.
RGM moved to using Yates-Roush engines in 2007 after getting its motors from Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2006. This proved an upgrade for RGM, as the team had only one engine DNF in 2007 after having three in 2006. Yates-Roush engines are noted for their power and efficiency. RGM's improvement in the standings in 2007 is another testament to the success of this change.
Jim Beam returns for a fourth year as the primary sponsor. Jim Beam will be on board for 13 races. Brian Gallagher, motorsports marketing manager for Jim Beam, notes Gordon's "competitive spirit" as something to which Jim Beam's customers can relate. Other major sponsors include Menard's and Mapai.
About Jeffrey Price
Price has been a KFFL contributor since January 2008.
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