Robby Gordon Motorsports has announced that beginning in 2009, the team will switch from Dodge to Toyota. Gordon and Toyota began their relationship in 1989, when Gordon won a championship driving a Toyota grand national truck.
Lee White, president of Toyota Racing Development said:
I’ve known Robby as a driver, team owner and fierce competitor since 1990. … We’ve raced together in Off-Road, IMSA, SCCA and Indy Car and have shared many memorable challenges and victories. It will be exciting to see how the association between Robby, his team, Toyota and TRD will develop in 2009.
The move is RGM’s fourth in the last four years. In 2006, the team fielded Chevys, in 2007, they switched to Ford. In 2008, he moved over to Gillett Evernham Motorsports engines, and switched to Dodges.
His switch to Dodge last season led to a few problems for the team. Before the Daytona 500, RGM tried to practice his Dodge with an unapproved nose. He blamed Dodge saying:
This was an innocent mistake made by someone not even on my team. They accidentally supplied us the new Dodge noses that NASCAR hasn’t yet approved because of what amounted to a clerical error. It was discovered during technical inspection and corrected before the race. It was not even close to being an intent to create some competitive advantage, and the mistake was not even made by my team.
He was penalized 100 points, and fined $100,000.
The team also was working on a merger with GEM, when talks soured and GEM sued RGM for breach of contract. The suit was later dropped.