Gordon merging with Yates team?

UPDATE #4 A possible Robby Gordon and Robert Yates merger, which Ford Motor Company may be helping bankroll. Gordon, long a Chevrolet man, is also trying to find a second similar second-tier team to join his own camp next season, in part to get a good engine deal. John Story, Gordon's general manager, confirms talks with Ford's Jack Roush about providing engines in 2007, and Roush said he's willing to do that. But Story said there are other irons in the fire, too. "We're not buying Robert Yates Racing, though that's what the rumors have been," Story said. "We're still talking a couple of different manufacturers, Ford being one; we haven't made a decision on that, but we should make a decision within two weeks. We've talked to a number of people, but at some point as the year gets later and later if we can't put together an alliance, we'll have to keep doing what we're doing." Winston Salem Journal

Robby Gordon said Friday he still hasn’t finalized his 2007 plans, but SPEEDTV.com has learned that his one-car team is leaning towards adding a second car, rather than joining forces with Robert Yates Racing or another existing Cup team. Robby Gordon Motorsports has identified a driver and a sponsor for a second car, but has not put together a deal yet for next season, sources told SPEEDTV.com. Nor has a decision been made about whether the team will stick with Chevrolets or switch to Fords next year. Expect details about next season to be finalized within the next two weeks, sources close to the team said. One possible obstacle: Sponsors are concerned about committing millions of dollars to new cars next year, when most races will have 50-55 entries competing for 43 spots in the field, 35 of which are guaranteed based on owner’s points. Speed Channel

08/19/06 From Ford Racing PR at the Yates/Gilliland quotes: DOUG YATES – IS YOUR TEAM CONSIDERING ALIGNING WITH SOMEONE? IS THAT WHAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE TO COMPETE? "There's no doubt that you have to grow to be to that level. NASCAR set the limit at four times, that's what was out there and if you're going to compete, you've need the resources of four teams. I think we all agree on that. How you get there is things we've been kicking around. It's tough to grow, it's tough to find great sponsors like M&M's. They're just not around every corner, so how do you do that? We've been exploring opportunities and that's some of the things that are swirling. Robby Gordon's not buying our whole place, I want to put that to rest. Man, you guys caused us a lot of pain, I'll tell you that. That Jayski guy is killing me. I want to tell you something: If you guys weren't talking about us, I'd really be worried. Because the reason you guys are talking about us is because you expect more of us, and I appreciate that. And we are determined to get back to where you can say some good things about us when we get there."

YOU MENTIONED ROBBY'S NOT BUYING "THE WHOLE THING." IS THERE A SENSE THAT THERE MIGHT BE A PART OF IT THERE? "We're looking for opportunities to grow our business. We have to make smart decisions for the future. My dad is at the point in his career where if he's making every decision of every day he wants to pass the torch off. And I've got a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders. Sometimes you need some energy to help you get there. So, we're going to see how things shape up and make the best decision for our organization, our people, to get a chance to get our cars in victory lane. That is the goal. How you get there, those are tough decisions. But the goal is to get our organization back where we can win the Brickyard, we can win the Daytona 500, we can have four teams that are competing at a very high level every week. That's a tough 'how to we get there?' And that's what we're looking for." Ford Racing PR

08/15/06 A report that Robby Gordon Motorsports has purchased Robert Yates Racing's Cup and Busch Series teams was denied by officials with RGM Tuesday. But, John Story, CEO of Robby Gordon Motorsports, said the two teams have spoken about a possible merger of some sort.

"As Robby stated several months ago, we have talked to a number of people both in and out of NASCAR about expanding, with the ultimate goal of fielding a championship-caliber team," Story said. "To be competitive in NASCAR's Cup series today, you've got to have multiple teams. So, yes, we've spoken [to RYR officials], but we've spoken with other people also. "That any sort of deal has been completed between the two teams is completely erroneous."

According to the Internet story posted by the LTN Radio Network, the purchase of RYR by Robby Gordon Motorsports would be "effective this week."

Story said the need to expand to multiple teams has led to discussions with a number of organizations currently competing in the series, including Hall of Fame Racing and PPI Motorsports among others.

"Not surprisingly, a number of teams have contacted us as well," Story said. "But you can't just take two single-car teams and put them together and say you are now a multicar team. It's just not that easy. There are a number of issues that come into play." Scenedaily.com

[Editor's Note: It is not erroneous. Merger will happen…….although it's not an outright sale]

08/15/06 We are upgrading this rumor to 'strong.' It appears that Robby Gordon is moving up the hierarchy in NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has hired him to straighten out his Busch team and now the strong rumor is that he is buying Robert Yates Racing. We expect to hear some very big sponsorship announcement related to this deal soon. Here's another former open wheel star making it big in NASCAR.

08/15/06 The LTN Radio Network has learned that Robby Gordon has purchased Robert Yates Racing, #88 and #38 Cup teams and #90 Busch Series team to be effective this week. The Yates-Roush engine program is not included in the sale. No word on the status of the contracts between RYR and sponsors M&M/Mars and Citifinancial, and how they will be affected by the sale. LTN Radio Network [Note: Their website is currently down.]

If this rumor is true, might Robby Gordon convert team over to Toyota? Is Toyota money behind this purchase? This related article on NASCAR.com says it could be a Chevy team, which is what Gordon has now. Robert Yates has always been a Ford operation. However, Gordon has a long relationship with Toyota and we can see Toyota making something big like this happen.

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