Former NASCAR Cup Driver Robby Gordon Talks About His Dakar 2021 Campaign

Published 01/07/2021, 7:12 AM EST
Rallying – Dakar Rally – Stage 3 – Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Wadi Ad-Dawasir – Wadi Ad-Dawasir, Saudi Arabia – January 5, 2021 X-Raid Mini JCW Team’s Carlos Sainz and Co-Driver Lucas Cruz in action during stage 3 REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


The 2021 Dakar Rally is officially underway, and Robby Gordon is competing once again. Admittedly, he never really achieved much success in the endurance race, but his highest finish was third place in 2009. However, he has registered a handful of stage wins throughout his career.

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Recently, Gordon spoke about how his 2021 campaign is going. Truthfully speaking, he is one of the main reasons why the United States has some interest in the Dakar Rally.

First and foremost, he kicked off his Dakar career in the Volkswagen Touareg before moving to Hummer in the following season. While there, he raced in the Hummer for nearly 10-11 years in South America. Gordon revealed that when he first started the program, he had a great run.

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Ricky Brabec becoming the first American Dakar winner was a source of great pride for him, and even though Gordon himself hasn’t won, he was happy that he set a solid foundation for Americans in the series.

What else did Robby Gordon say?

Speaking to Parker Kligerman, he said, “South America Dakar was amazing with fans. I know the Dakar as a challenge, it would be like going to the Daytona 500 and not coming back to the workshop. After starting the season with the Daytona 500, it’s all halfway.

“For a race team, it would be like leaving the workshop with the same race car and not coming back until half a season is over in NASCAR.”

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Rallying – Dakar Rally – Stage 3 – Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Wadi Ad-Dawasir – Wadi Ad-Dawasir, Saudi Arabia – January 5, 2021 Bahrain Raid Xtreme’s Sebastien Loeb and Co-Driver Daniel Elena in action during stage 3 REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

On the subject of tackling the rally itself, Gordon opened up on facing dunes. He admitted that he learned to notice and never underestimate the dunes and the wind direction.

According to him, the big difference between Dakar and a Baja race is that drivers have to rely on competitors to help them instead of the crew.

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It is worth mentioning that Robby Gordon accumulated three Cup Series wins in his career, at New Hampshire in 2001, along with Sonoma and Watkins Glen in 2003. Given that his NASCAR career is pretty much over, Gordon now has to ply his trade in other series.

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Dhruv George

11640 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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