CALAMA, Chile -- Robby Gordon will be leaving Chile and the Dakar Rally much earlier than expected. Trying to recover from mechanical issues after Stage 2, Gordon's Hummer was hit with more problems during Wednesday's Stage 4 and he was disqualified, according to speedenergy.com. Speed Energy was Gordon's sponsor for the Dakar Rally. Gordon began the day 17th but had right-front wheel bearing issues before the start of the timed special, costing him about five hours. He completed the stage, but because he was late to the special, he was disqualified from the rally. Gordon was one of six cars to withdraw Wednesday. "Disappointed doesn't even begin to describe the way I'm feeling right now, not only for me but for everyone involved," Gordon said. "Knowing all the hard work and dedication that was put into this program is what makes our untimely exit from the Dakar Rally a hard pill to swallow. "While it may not appear like it due to our performance thus far, countless hours went into this effort. To have a wheel bearing fail is just sickening ... a huge, huge disappointment. We run this same wheel bearing on the trophy truck and have put thousands of kilometers on HUMMERs, and we have never had this part fail." STAGE 3 SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY, Argentina -- Attempting to overcome a poor finish in Stage 2 due to mechanical issues, the No. 303 HUMMER was back on unfamiliar terrain. In the 2010 edition of the Dakar Rally, Stage 3 took the competitors from La Rioja to Fiambala, however, this year the route has moved further east as they make their way to Chile. Beginning the day in San Miguel de Tucuman, this special stage was been split into two parts, totaling 165 miles. Starting the day in 21st position overall, Robby Gordon and navigator, Kellon Walch finished the stage in 15th, putting the team 17th overall, 1 hour 32 minutes behind leader Carlos Sainz. Even as Gordon improved his position in the rally, he was not pleased with the performance of the HUMMER. "We keep putting ourselves behind the eight ball. We passed a bunch of cars early in the special, but then realized we had lost a transmission pump", Gordon said. "[Tuesday's] special would have been good for the HUMMER had we not had a mechanical issue. The route had some very technical, rough stuff in the beginning, and it would have been good for us." STAGE 2 SAN MIGUEL DE TUCUMAN, Argentina -- Robby Gordon struggled in the second stage of the Dakar Rally on Monday, finishing 46th after an accident and dropping to 21st overall in the standings. Carlos Sainz, the defending champion, won his second stage in as many days in his Volkswagen. His lead is 3:05 ahead of Stephane Peterhansel's BMW and 1:06:55 in front of Gordon in his Hummer. Gordon's accident occurred after a solid start and cost him an hour's worth of repairs. "We were actually pretty good through the first few check points," Gordon said. "One corner snuck up on me; I didn't see it and just drove off the road, hitting a large rock. This is very unfortunate for our team. Now that we are an hour behind heading into Chile versus only a few minutes, we definitely got our work cut out for us. I think we will be OK though; there is still plenty of racing left. "The Hummer sustained some damage on today's stage as when we smashed the front of the race vehicle into the rock, and the transmission doesn't have reverse because it broke when I tried to reverse out of my mistake. I would say that we were broke down for maybe an hour today...a very costly hour." Dakar is being held for the third consecutive year in Argentina and Chile. This year's route covers 5,903 miles, reaching the Atacama desert in northern Chile -- one of the driest places on earth -- before heading back for the Jan. 16 finish in Buenos Aires. The race heads north on Tuesday to San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina and crosses into Chile on Wednesday, heading for the Atacama desert. STAGE 1 CORDOBA, Argentina -- Robby Gordon and Team Hummer completed the first stage of the Dakar Rally on Sunday in eighth place, covering the 138-mile course in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 36 seconds. Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch trail defending champion Carlos Sainz by 11:04. Sainz's Volkswagen was 1:31 ahead of second-place Stephane Peterhansel in a BMW and 2:16 in front of Volkswagen teammate Nasser Al Attiyah. American driver Mark Miller was fourth, 4:17 behind in another Volkswagen. Gordon started fourth but dropped to ninth by the first marker as heavy rain created a slippery disadvantage as participants suffered from skidding and sliding. "We knew that the Hummer team would not be as strong as we would like in the Argentina portion of this race, but we struggled a little bit more [Sunday] than I would have liked due to the weather conditions and technical rally-style section," said Gordon , who offered a reason for the discrepancy in time in correlation to the leaders. "Sainz and Peterhansel ... started the race before the weather began and were virtually unaffected by it. That's why you see the gap in time from the rest of the competitors. "We started out the special good, but we had a couple of challenges along the way. Kellon and I had to change helmets during the middle of the stage because his microphone quit working. I ran off the road at one point. We also ran out of windshield wiper fluid due to the mud. These mistakes probably cost us about 1 minute of total speed. I expected to give up 5 minutes in [Sunday's] stage, not 11 minutes, which disappoints me. "It is still early in the race, but we have some ground to make up [Monday]. Some of the guys are already starting to have issues this early. Hopefully, we will recover quickly from [Sunday's] issues before we enter Chile because it is our best opportunity to make up time. By this point, I want to be less than 10 minutes behind." Sunday's first stage from Victoria to Corboda in northern Argentina followed the ceremonial ride from Buenos Aires to Victoria a day earler. Officials said 407 contestants started the race Sunday, down from the 430 who were enrolled Saturday. Dakar is being held for the third consecutive year in Argentina and Chile. This year's route covers 5,903 miles, reaching the Atacama desert in northern Chile -- one of the driest places on earth -- before heading back for the Jan. 16 finish in Buenos Aires. Monday's second stage from Cordoba to San Miguel de Tucuman is a 201-mile race through the mountains. "[Monday's] stage is supposed to go through the mountains, which are not good for us for two reasons. First, the Hummers are not turbo-charged, then the course is a little narrow. They did say that we should encounter some bumps, which could be good for us," Gordon said. Gordon's second team, with Chilean driver Eliseo Salazar and navigator Steve La Roza, is in 28th place after the opening stage, 34:25 off the pace. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Get the latest Benny Gordon news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski, along with many other members of the NASCAR community, help The F-Post spread a little holiday cheer.
Longtime car owner joins Lynda Petty, Martin Truex Jr. as quarterly honorees RELATED: Images of Junie Donlavey's life in NASCAR Longtime car owner Junie Donlavey was named the National Motorsports Press Association Spirit Award recipient for the third quarter of 2014. Donlavey, who passed away in June at the age of 90, competed at NASCAR's highest level from 1950 through 2002. The native of Richmond, Virginia, gave numerous drivers their start in NASCAR's premier series, now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series . That list included two-time champ Joe Weatherly, Jimmy Hensley, Harry Gant and Robby Gordon . Donlavey also aided the careers of drivers such as Ken Schrader and Dick Trickle. Teams owned by Donlavey made 863 starts, and nine of those teams finished in the top 10 in points in the season standings. His lone win as an owner came in 1981 at Dover International Speedway with driver Jody Ridley. Donlavey was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame in 2009, and in September, the garage area at Richmond International Raceway was named in his honor . Also receiving votes for the third quarter were Sprint Cup Series drivers Kasey Kahne , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart and Kyle Larson . Other quarterly winners of the Spirit Award for 2014 are Lynda Petty (first quarter) and Martin Truex Jr . (second quarter). The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are chosen, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Driver's back not healed 100 percent, but Gordon feels just fine in the car Had it been spoken in more than a mostly joking manner, Jeff Gordon 's off-the-cuff statement back in January that he'd ride off into stock-car racing retirement if he won his fifth title in NASCAR's premier series would likely have been the bombshell of the year. "I wish I was standing here with that issue right now," Gordon said after accepting sixth-place honors at last week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards show in Las Vegas. After coming oh-so-close to cashing in on that big if, a rejuvenated Gordon said that his heart was never in it to walk away and close the books on his Hall of Fame-worthy career. After enjoying a season with four wins and a championship bid that thrived until the next-to-last race, the 43-year-old veteran is eager to keep the momentum -- and a near-record streak -- rolling next year in what will be his 23rd season at NASCAR's top level. "I never had any intentions of doing that," Gordon said at mention of the word retirement. "I love this sport, I love being competitive. Yeah, I had that health scare with my back in May but was able to pull it all back together and go on and have a great year and not have to miss that race. I was asked that question and I answered it as honestly as I could, but also I'm having some fun with it, and I'd have liked to have had that issue, like I said. "Don't worry, I'll be back next year. Maybe I'll say the same joke in January and we'll see where it goes." The Hendrick Motorsports driver has a streak of consecutive starts that currently stands at 761. He is expected to tie the all-time record of 788 set by Ricky Rudd next season in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs opener Sept. 20 at Chicagoland Speedway ; he'd break the mark the following weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . But the back ailment Gordon referenced threw that ironman streak into peril last spring, when spasms during Coors Light Pole Qualifying caused him to sit out practice on the eve of the Coca-Cola 600 , the series' longest race. Gordon eventually completed all 600 miles. His back, though, still isn't quite without lingering pain. "No -- 100 percent? That was a long time ago," Gordon said. "But it doesn't seem to affect me inside the car and that's the most important thing. It hurts afterward, it hurts during the week, but once I'm inside the car, I'm able to focus on what I need to do." While Gordon drew a fair amount of teasing because of his age during some of Champion's Week's more candid moments, his stature among his peers was unquestioned. During the NASCAR After the Lap tell-all, all 16 Chase qualifiers were asked if they were fans of Gordon as they took their first steps into the sport; nearly every hand went up. "It was humbling, I'll be honest," Gordon said. "Maybe even if they were (fans), they might not want to admit it. The fact they were admitting it means a lot to me." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup sixth-place finisher, Jeff Gordon , gives his speech at the Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas.
The No. 24 team as you've never seen them
In this week's Throwback Thursday, we go back to New Hampshire in 2001. Jeff Gordon had already locked up the title, but Robby Gordon had other plans for the checkered flag that day.
After 16 tries Jeff Gordon finally wins at Texas Motor Speedway.
Danica Patrick after her big wreck on the final lap, plus Michael McDowell and Robby Gordon race their way into the Daytona 500 line-up.