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Baja Time

WELCOME, N.C. (Oct. 29, 2003) – Robby Gordon is again returning to his off-road racing roots as he gears up to pre-run the Baja 1000 course in preparation for the legendary Nov. 21 race.

Gordon, a two-time Baja 1000 champion, built his No. 31 SCORE Trophy Truck (Chevrolet CK500) in his off-road shop in Anaheim, Calif., and will take it to Phoenix this weekend for testing Saturday following NASCAR Winston Cup Happy Hour in the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet. The vehicle Gordon will use this weekend is his pre-runner truck, not the actual Trophy Truck he will race in the Baja 1000.

As soon as he completes the Nov. 16 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Gordon will board a plane to Baja California, Mexico. He will pre-run the Baja 1000 course, which starts and finishes in Ensenada, Mexico, Nov. 17-Nov. 19 in order to familiarize himself with it. Gordon will compile notes about the lay of the land, which measures only 765 miles this year instead of the traditional 1,000.

"The course is so long at Baja and it’s not a normal track like Phoenix or Rockingham where we can go out for a couple of laps and be familiar and comfortable with the track," Gordon said. "It’s a grueling 765 miles this year and every corner is different. So, we’ll do track reconnaissance and take pace notes in a couple of weeks. Having those notes makes it a lot safer for me and all the drivers because we know where every corner is and what’s coming up on the track next."

The 34-year-old drew a 20th-starting position out of a current 20 Trophy Trucks entered in the competition, which commences at 8:30 a.m. local time on Nov. 21.

In addition to his 1989 and 1987 wins in the Baja 1000, Gordon scored a third-place finish in the 2002 Baja 1000, a fifth-place finish in the 1999 race and nearly won the grueling race in a late charge in 1997 before finishing in the runner-up spot. Additionally, he won four of the seven events in the 1996 SCORE Trophy Truck Series en route to the series championship, including a third-place finish in the Baja 1000. Gordon also won five consecutive SCORE/HDRA Heavy Metal Off-Road championships between 1986 and 1990.

For further information on the 36th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, go to www.score-international.com