NASCAR & Auto Racing

Robby Gordon makes the leap,

lands in the Gillett-Dodge camp

Robby Gordon announced Friday that he will drive Dodges instead of Fords in the 2008 Sprint Cup season and will get engines and other support from Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

"I feel this agreement with Gillett Evernham Motorsports helps make the learning curve of the COT little bit easier to navigate," Gordon said. "I like what they have going on over there and I think bothorganizations will benefit. As an owner I want to do what is best for my employees and sponsors."

Gordon was not present last week when the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour sponsored by Lowe's Motor Speedway met with Ford teams at Roush Fenway Racing. A Ford official said Gordon's absence was due to schedule conflicts.

Gordon is both the driver and owner for his single-car team, which fielded the No. 7 Fords in 2007. Gordon was 28th in the final standings.

"Ford has been very good to me, and this move is not a reflection on our relationship at all," Gordon said. "Ford was planning on supporting me, and even increasing its engineering support for my program in 2008.

"However, I felt that I needed to make this move to help put my team in a more stable financial situation in terms of marketing and sponsorship help."

Doug Hervey, North American operations manager for Ford Racing Technology, said the manufacturer is disappointed to lose Gordon's team.

"Robby made a difficult decision to do what he thought was necessary to financially support and stabilize his race team," Hervey said. "We were fully prepared to continue our commitment with him this year, and had plans to increase our level of engineering support. ...As a manufacturer, we're disappointed to be losing him and his team, but understand the difficulties of running a one-car team in the sport today."

Gillett Evernham Motorsports fields three Dodge teams - the No. 9 cars for Kasey Kahne, the No. 10s for Patrick Carpentier and the No. 19s for Elliott Sadler. It also provides engines and technical support for Petty Enterprises and BAM Racing.

GEM will provide technical, manufacturing and marketing services as part of its agreement with Robby Gordon Motorsports.

"We pride ourselves on being a leader in technology, innovation, and provider of top flight equipment to other Cup teams," said George Gillett Jr., the team's co-owner. "This is another example of a team coming to us for help in areas where we believe we excel."