Robby Gordon's NASCAR season begins this weekend, and the American all-rounder is hoping that he can go some way to keeping up the run of success with which he has started the year.

Gordon will be making his first appearance in the Budweiser Shootout, courtesy of the revamped eligibility procedure that opened the event up beyond the realm of previous season polesitters and former winners, but he has warmed up for the marathon slog through the Sprint Cup campaign with an exciting off-season programme that saw him finish third overall in the Dakar Rally and win the Laughlin Desert Challenge.

Although will make the official switch to Toyota for the rest of the year's events, he will represent the sixth Dodge entry in the revamped pre-season event because of his affiliation with the manufacturer in 2008. The Shootout has a new look for 2009, with the line-up for the 75-lap event consisting of the top six teams from each manufacturer based on the final 2008 owner points, with one wild card fro each marque making up the 28-car field.

"Our team is pumped to be part of this year's Shootout," Gordon commented, "This is a first for me and for our team, and it is just a great way to start the season.

"All the action at Daytona normally takes place during the last 100 laps but, since this is a shorter version, it should be a very exciting race for the fans and the teams. We have one goal for Saturday's race and that is to win."

After the draw for starting positions was made on Thursday evening, Gordon will line up 13th in the #7 Jim Beam Dodge.