USA Today: BAJA 1000 BECOMES GORDON FAMILY REUNION

 

By A.J. Perez, USA TODAY

Beccy Gordon had one option as a child if she wanted to see her dad on the weekends.
“He was always in his shop working on his cars,” she says. “That’s where we would hang out. Still, racing wasn’t something that I was forced into loving.”

Mother Marlene disapproved, but big brother Robby had a little more hands-on approach.

“I was pre-running (desert-racing speak for practice) in Baja, and I took Robby with me,” “Baja” Bob Gordon says. “It was myself and my co-driver, so the passenger seat was taken and the back seat had the gas tank in it. So we put straps around both his legs and a pillow between him and the tank. He had to hold on to the back of our seats as we ran for 500 miles.”

Regardless of time and location, Beccy, sister Robyn and Robby Gordon were introduced by their father to the world of gears and suspension. This week, all four will reunite on the biggest stage in North American desert racing — the 39th-annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Beccy will pair with Robyn as part of an all-female team in the stock Baja Challenge division, while Robby will take a quick break from his NASCAR obligations to run with Bob as part of a team in the elite Trophy-Truck class.

A record 440 vehicles in 35 classes — which cover cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs — from 38 states and 11 countries are expected to take the starting line Thursday in Ensenada, Mexico, a number organizers say is bolstered because of last year’s release of the Baja 1000 documentary, Dust to Glory.

Beccy, 28, is among those new entrants, the last of Bob’s offspring to attempt to traverse the harsh landscape of the course that ends in La Paz. She’s already raced with Robyn a few times this season, including the Baja 500 and the Las Vegas Primm 300 — where the sisters teamed with friend Heather Bonanni for a class victory.

“We get along pretty good except at work,” says Robyn, who works with Beccy at their dad’s business, which supplies feed for the horses at Los Alamitos (Calif.) Race Course.

Robyn, 34, is the real trailblazer of the family.

She became the first — and still the only — woman to win the overall title at the Baja 1000 when she shared the driving duties with Bob and Robby in 1990.

The two sisters won’t be in the All-American Girl Racing vehicle together. Robyn has Amanda Drenning as her co-driver, while Beccy takes to the course with Meghan Creeley in the passenger seat. The other team members include Bonanni, Kate Sutton and pro snowboarder Tara Dakides.

Beccy is choosing to drive a night portion.

“Then you can’t see the drop-off,” she says. “You can only see 3 feet in front of you.”

Bob is a little more protective of his two daughters than of his son, if his gas tank story wasn’t already an indication. When Robyn and Beccy ran in the Baja 500 in March, Beccy’s boyfriend, race car driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, doubled back and followed as the vehicle ventured through one of the most dangerous parts of the course.

“It may have been against the rules, but I don’t think SCORE (the race’s sanctioning body) would have a problem with it,” says Bob, who has five class wins and three overall victories at the Baja 1000.

Bob says the course, which is 1,050.83 miles long and consists of 10 checkpoints, is perilous not only for its 1,000-foot drops and terrain made rougher by Hurricane John but by residents who haven’t always been the kindest hosts.

“I’ve been shot at,” Bob says. “They set booby traps on the track and do some crazy things.”

Robby, 37, adds: “It’s a lot different than it was five or six years ago with (Global Positioning System devices more prevalent). You don’t really have to worry about that.”

Participants need to finish in 43 hours. Organizers expect the first motorcycles to finish in about 18½ hours and the trophy trucks to come in a half-hour later.

Robby will run the first 700 miles before giving way to co-driver Andy McMillin late Thursday night. Then Robby will hop on a plane and head to Homestead-Miami Speedway to attempt to qualify Friday for the Ford 400.

Road racing ace Boris Said and former IndyCar driver Roberto Guerrero join Gordon and Hunter-Reay among the crossovers.

The list of celebrities includes TV stars Jesse James of Monster Garage and Patrick Dempsey of Grey’s Anatomy.

A couple of records are on the line, too. The team of Troy Herbst and Larry Roeseler will attempt to win a third consecutive Baja 1000 in a four-wheel division, and Johnny Campbell is going for his 10th overall motorcycle title.

Posted 11/16/2006 12:17 AM ET

Headline

All-American Girl Racing Announces SoBe Life Water as Sponsor

ORANGE, Calif. – April 6, 2006 — All-American Girl Racing (AAGR) announced today it has signed a sponsorship agreement with SoBe Life Water for the 2006 off-road race season. The team’s first race is this Saturday, April 8, in Primm, Nevada.

SoBe Life Water will partner with AAGR as the team’s official refueling beverage.  AAGR is the first and only all female race team to compete in SNORE, MDR, and SCORE International Off-Road racing events, including the treacherous Baja 500 and the infamous Baja 1000.  AAGR consists of six women with a long history in the dirt; Heather Bonanni, Lori Lynch, Cari Penhall, Jamie Nye, and sisters Robyn and Beccy Gordon.  Robyn will be defending her title as the only female to have won the Baja 1000 Overall.

“The new SoBe Life Water is proud to be associated with the new All-American Girl Racing team,” said Ken Haislip, West Division Sales Manager, SoBe Beverages.  “We think it’s a great partnership that makes natural sense … desert racing and SoBe Life Water.”

To launch the SoBe Life Water sponsorship, AAGR appeared on the KROQ-FM Kevin & Bean Morning Show, Thursday, April 6, between 6-9 a.m.

“Having a sponsor like SoBe Life Water is the perfect combination for our team,” said Beccy Gordon, team representative and driver.  “Every girl on this team is committed to living a healthy lifestyle with an aggressive edge and SoBe Life Water enables us to do so, and will nourish us on our thirst-inducing desert adventures. I look forward to expanding our involvement with SoBe Life Water and enjoying their beverage on and off the track.”

Together with SoBe Life Water, All-American Girl Racing promises to be the dirtiest girls in the dirt!

About All-American Girl Racing:

The team includes: Heather Bonnani, a long time off-road enthusiast who created the concept of the all-girl race team. Robyn and Beccy Gordon, daughters of racing legend “Baja” Bob Gordon and sisters of NASCAR driver Robby Gordon, jumped at the opportunity to challenge the desert.  Beccy is a motorsports TV host, while Robyn is the only female driver to have ever won the Baja 1000 overall.  Cari Penhall, one of the most distinguished women in the off-road circle.  Penhall has been tackling the grueling desert for the last 30 years chasing and supporting her racer husband, Jerry Penhall.  Penahll’s cousin, Jamie Nye, was raised in the dirt and is married to Dirt Bagz owner, Derek Nye.  Lori Lynch has been drawn to extreme sports her entire life.  She is the daughter of Mission Motorsports founder, John Matherson.About Sobe Life Water:

Taking vitamins just got a whole lot tastier. On March 6, 2006, SoBe Beverages announced the launch of new SoBe Life Water, a line of refreshing vitamin-enhanced water beverages that contain the powerful antioxidant vitamins C & E as well as members of the vitamin B complex.  Available in five delicious flavors- Pomegranate Cherry, Blackberry Grape, Passionfruit Citrus, Orange Tangerine and Strawberry Kiwi- the highly anticipated lineup is the newest addition to SoBe’s family of great-tasting “healthy refreshment” beverages.

In addition to a full day’s supply of Vitamin C, SoBe Life Water provides 20% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin E, as well as 10% of the recommended daily value of the B Vitamins B6 and B12, Niacin (B3) and Pantothenic acid (B5).  With no artificial flavors or preservatives, SoBe Life Water delivers what SoBe fans have come to expect – a great-tasting beverage with a unique SoBe twist.

“SoBe has been making beverages to uplift the mind, body and spirit for the past ten years,” said Nicole Flavin, director, marketing for SoBe Life Water.  “Great-tasting, healthy refreshment beverages are what consumers expect from SoBe.  It makes sense that we would expand into the enhanced water category and provide consumers with even more options through the introduction of SoBe Life Water.”

Look for SoBe Life Water in 20 oz. PET bottles, featuring eye-catching, distinctive graphics and the notorious SoBe “dueling lizards” design.  SoBe Life Water hit shelves in March, available in both small and large format convenience and grocery stores. The launch of SoBe Life Water is supported with radio and out of home advertising in addition to sampling at over 1,000 grassroots events.  For more information, check out www.sobelifewater.com.

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