Robby Gordon: On Pit Row
Robby Gordon is a racer. He’s also, by most accounts, a pain in the ass. But Steve and I are big fans. Here’s why.
Gordon was a guest ON PIT ROW the Tuesday before the 2002 Daytona 500. We caught up with Robby while he was having dinner with friends. He graciously spent about fifteen minutes with us and answered all of our questions. It was a great interview.
Bill Clark’s son, Jason was our producer at the time and Jason had arranged for Robby to call him back at a different phone number, after the interview, to tape a promo for our show. We were sharing studio space at the time with a local FM Rock station. When Gordon called back, one of the disk jocks from the FM side answered the call. Robby identified himself as a NASCAR driver, and the DJ told him something like’ “yeah and I’m Mick Jagger”, told him to kiss off and hung up. I’ll never forget the look on Jason’s face when he told us. It was one of the many times that we wondered if anyone connected to NASCAR would ever have anything to do with us again.
Well, Jason called Gordon back to apologize, ready to be blown off at best. But Robby just laughed it off and taped the promos – at his dinner table in Daytona. I will always be a Robby Gordon fan.
Gordon’s 2008 NASCAR season was a tough one. It started at Daytona, with a last minute switch from Ford to Dodge. That change was followed by a screw -up that sent Robby’s race team Dodge nose pieces that were not yet approved by NASCAR. Penalties ensued, and a rocky season got underway.
And NASCAR wasn’t the only sanctioning body to ramp up Robby’s stress level. Robby Gordon Racing has a major investment in its Dakar Rally effort. When that event was cancelled, sponsor funding for that effort was jeopardized. The 2008 race was eventually run, in a different location and format, and RGR was there. As I write this, Robby is again competing in the big rally. In the video Gordon talks about the team’s preparation for the 2009 event.
For the 2009 Sprint Cup Series, Robby Gordon Racing will field Toyota Camrys. They should have the correct nose pieces in plenty of time for Daytona this time. Here’s to hoping that the hook up with Toyota – a manufacturer that has supported Robby’s off-road efforts for years, will lead to a successful 2009 for one of the few single car teams left in the sport.
Here are Robby’s Loop Data stats for each race in 2008.