With the 2012 Off-Road racing season kicking off with a successful Dakar Rally for Robby Gordon and the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires Team, Gordon didn’t let up as he headed to Parker, Arizona for the Best in the Desert Parker 425. It would be new challenge for him as he drove a new truggy (a hybrid between a trophy truck and a Class 1 buggy). Built by the Geiser Brothers and owned by SPEED Energy/RPM Off-Road Racing teammate Clyde Stacey, it would be the first time Gordon would enter in the 1500 class instead of the BITD’s Trick Truck class.
With qualifying on Thursday, Robby Gordon attempted to out run a field of 88 vehicles complied of class 1550s and trick trucks. “The truggy drives a lot different than my trophy truck, but it handles the bumps pretty well. I think we’ll be pretty close to win the SPEED Energy Pole Award,” said Gordon after his practice run right before his qualifying attempt. Gordon would come close, qualifying third for the 2012 Parker 425 and first in the Class 1500 category. “I honestly don’t know how we could have gone any faster. I was on the rev limiter the whole time it felt like,” said Gordon after his qualifying run.
The race started early on Saturday morning, and Robby was focused on victory. Pacing himself off the line, Gordon would remain strong and hold onto third place as he finished the first of 3 laps of the 141-mile loop in the Arizona desert. By the time he reached the main pit on the second lap, BJ Baldwin who was running second was directly in front of him. Notably two of the best off-road racers were now fighting side-by-side as they exited the pit area. Gordon let Baldwin know he was behind him with a few bumps on the back of his truck. After Baldwin gave way to Gordon, he was ready to chase down leader Rob MacCachren. Half way through the second lap, MacCachren had a motor issue and Gordon cruised by him to take the lead.
On the third lap, the team received reports that fellow SPEED Energy/RPM Off-Road teammate Juan Carlos Lopez in the No. 18 trophy truck was closing in on time to catch Gordon in his truggy. Gordon would then picked up the pace and finish an impressive 14 minutes faster than last year’s, Jesse Jones. Gordon would beat the next competitor by nearly 5 minutes. A trouble free day and open-road lead boosted Gordon to another victory for the 2012 Off-Road season.
“I can’t thank RPM Off-Road and Clyde Stacey enough for the opportunity to race his truck. The Geiser Brothers built a good truck that all we really had to do was put some Toyo Tires on it and go racing. I’m happy to give Toyo Tires another victory after the Dakar Rally, and I look forward to carrying the momentum into the rest of the year,” Gordon said after winning the overall in the Parker 425, his first in the event since 2006.
Robby Gordon’s next challenge is set for February 10th in Johnson Valley, California where he looks to tackle the world of rock crawling in the 2012 King of the Hammers race. Be sure to check for updates on the KoH on SPEED Energy’s facebook and twitter pages which can be found on speedenergy.com.