CYPRESS, CALIFORNIA – Excitement is building in anticipation of crowning the overall winner for the 2012 Dakar™ this coming Monday. Robby Gordon is focused on capturing that glory, winning today’s Stage 9 by 1-minute 38-seconds over race-leader, Stephane Peterhansel. Gordon’s charge has reduced Peterhansel’s lead to less than six minutes with four days left of competition.

Today’s 556km stage ran from the coastal cities of Antofagasta to Iquique, northward along the Pacific Ocean coast of Chile. Competitors were faced with a variety of terrain including canyons, hills and perilous silt-beds known as “fesh fesh.”  Throughout the rally, Gordon has relied on Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires to help keep his two-wheel drive #303 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires HUMMER on a searing pace.  As of today’s Stage 9 of the 2012 Dakar, Toyo Tires® has recorded eight podium finishes with Team SPEED, three of those being stage wins.

Gordon’s teammate, Nasser Al-Attiyah was chasing Gordon in second place after Checkpoint 2 in today’s stage.  Misfortune then struck the hard-charging Al-Attiyah’s #300 Qatar HUMMER as he was sidelined with a mechanical problem.  Al-Attiyah won Stages 2 and 7, while also finishing third in Stage 3 in this year’s race.
“We congratulate Robby Gordon on today’s Stage 9 win of the 2012 Dakar rally,” said Amy Coleman, senior director of marketing, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “Toyo Tires is proud to be a part of this winning team, and we look forward to an exciting finish in Lima, Peru. I encourage fans to join the team and follow the action on our Dakar Rally blog at toyotires.com.”

Highlights of the Dakar are broadcast in the U.S. each night on the NBC Sports Network (formerly known as Versus) at 1:30am EST (10:30pm PST.) Please check your local listings on where to find the NBC Sports Network.

Be sure to follow the daily action on the Dakar Rally Blog located at www.toyotires.com/dakar-rally-blog.  To learn more about Robby Gordon and the Open Country line of light truck tires, log onto www.toyotires.com.  Toyo Tires manufactures and distributes a complete line of premium replacement tires for nearly every make and model including high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks and SUVs as well as tires for commercial trucks.  Connect with the community at www.facebook.com/toyotires and www.twitter.com/toyotires.

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