Gordon Tabbed as Franchitti’s Replacement for Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., April 25, 2003 – Indianapolis 500 veteran Robby
Gordon will replace Dario Franchitti in the #27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola/Budweiser
Dallara/Honda/Firestone for Andretti Green Racing during the 87th
running of the Indianapolis 500.
Gordon, who has eight career Indianapolis 500 starts, will run both
the ‘500’ and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, marking the fourth
time in his career he has attempted to run both events in one day.
Last season Gordon successfully completed "the Memorial Day
double," finishing eighth in the Indianapolis 500 and 16th
in the 600-mile Winston Cup event held annually at Lowe’s Motor
Speedway in Concord, N.C.
"I’m thrilled to have the chance to attempt one of the ultimate
racing challenges again this year and hopefully win both races,"
said Gordon. "I’ve run the Indy 500 eight times and been competitive
and run near the front each year. I certainly haven’t given up on
the goal of winning both races and hope 2003 will be my year to
do it. Running in an Andretti Green prepared-car will no doubt give
me a good shot at having one win down and one to go when I head
to Charlotte that afternoon."
Gordon, who drives the #31 Cingular Wireless entry for Richard Childress
Racing, is currently in 14th place in the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup
point standings and finished sixth at the season-opening Daytona
500. He won the 2001 season-ending Winston Cup race at New Hampshire
"I want to thank Richard, all of the guys on the Cingular Wireless
team, and everyone at RCR for letting me chase one of my dreams,"
Gordon owns five top-10 finishes in his eight Indianapolis 500 starts,
one of which was a fourth place run in 1999 when he ran out of fuel
while leading with less than two laps to go.
Gordon’s entry is part of a four-car Indianapolis 500 effort by
Andretti Green Racing which is owned by Michael Andretti, Kim Green
and Kevin Savoree. Andretti is seeking to qualify for his 14th Indy
500 and make the final start of his racing career behind the wheel
of the #7 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Tony Kanaan, who
is nursing a broken left arm sustained in a crash during the Indy
Japan, plans to qualify the #11 Team 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda/Firestone.
Rookie Dan Wheldon, who passed rookie orientation last week in the
#26 Klein Tools/Jim Beam Dallara/Honda/Firestone, is looking to
become the first British driver since Nigel Mansell to start the
"Having Robby in our car for the month of May gives us a great
shot to win the Indy 500, although we expect all four of our cars
to compete for the win," said Michael Andretti. "It’s
just peace of mind for us, knowing we’ve added another veteran in
our lineup who knows his way around the Speedway and knows how to
prepare for the biggest race of the year."