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.

The NASCAR world got the first glimpse of Robby Gordon’s newest venture last weekend at the Talladega Speedway, but the off-road world may just be learning of his exciting new news.

Last weekend at Talladega, Gordon announced that he and longtime friend and attorney Steven Nichols have formed a partnership to manufacture, distribute and retail a new energy drink called Speed Energy. Gordon’s announcement came at a press conference before the NASCAR race, and he sported the new logo on the side of his #7 Toyota for the first time last weekend. He noted at the press conference that Speed Energy will come in three different flavors that include Unleaded, Fuel and Octane.