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Former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon competing in his 12th Dakar Rally

2015 Dakar Rally - Day Ten

Robby Gordon and his off-road buggy fly through the air in last year’s Dakar Rally.

Getty Images

Former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon is once again competing in the Dakar Rally.

Gordon is part of a three-vehicle Team Speed operation sponsored by Toyo Tires. The other two drivers on the team are veteran Guerlain Chicherit and 2015 Stadium SUPER Truck champion, Sheldon Creed, who at 18 years old, is the youngest driver in Rally history.

“There is really no racing event like the Dakar, and now that we are entering our 12th Rally, we believe we’ve seen just about everything and know how to prepare for it,” Gordon said in a media release. “With the addition of Sheldon Creed in a second Toyo Tires HST Gordini Supercar, Team SPEED brings the extra support needed on course that we have lacked in the last few years.

“It is the ‘ultimate survival test’ which is what makes the Dakar Rally such a tremendous event.”

The 13-day, 5,739 mile off-road race, which winds through Argentina and includes two segments in Bolivia, was slated to kick off Sunday Buenos Aires. However, the first stage from Rosario to Villa Carlos Paz was cancelled due to heavy rain and “security reasons,” race organizers tweeted, because helicopters that fly overhead monitoring the race were unable to fly due to the inclement conditions.

The cancellation came shortly after a crash in a preliminary race Saturday in which, according to reports, Chinese driver Guo Meiling lost control of her vehicle and plowed into a crowd, injuring 10 spectators.

Gordon competed 19 years on the Sprint Cup circuit, amassing 396 starts, 3 wins, 16 top-fives and 39 top-10s. His last race was in 2012, at the same time he founded the Charlotte-based Stadium SUPER Truck Series.

Gordon, who has won several stages of the Rally since 2007, is driving the No. 312 entry along with navigator Kellon Walch, while Creed is driving the No. 337 entry with navigator Jonah Street. Chicherit and navigator Alex Winocq are in the No. 324 entry.

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