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Sponsor Goes to Bat for Robby Gordon

Feb 23, 2008 – 11:33 AM
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Geoffrey Miller

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With qualifying and all on-track activities canceled at Auto Club Speedway on Friday, Robby Gordon got plenty of face time with the NASCAR media concerning his penalty stemming from Daytona.

In review, Gordon switched from Ford to Dodge a week before practice began, built the cars, went to Daytona, failed inspection because of parts that were sent to him from Dodge in error, and was fined $100,000, docked 100 owner and driver points, and his crew chief was suspended for six weeks.

Gordon, naturally is appealing.

One of his sponsors, Jim Beam, is taking a swing at the situation by trying to start a petition for Robby in his effort.

Representatives from Jim Beam, which sponsors Gordon's No. 7 car, will canvas the Auto Club Speedway grandstands on Saturday gathering signatures for a petition demanding NASCAR reverse its "unfair" decision to dock Gordon 100 points. Crew chief Frank Kerr also was fined $100,000, suspended for the next six Sprint Cup Series events until April 9 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

Along with the petition, "Rally for Robby" T-shirts are being made for Gordon fans to wear during this weekend's Cup events, said Sofia Lombardo, spokesperson for Jim Beam.

Also, Thomas Flocco, president and CEO of Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., has sent a letter addressed to NASCAR president Mike Helton, as well as other top officials, voicing the company's frustrations.

It's good to see that Robby has some support in this issue, because you do feel bad for the guy. It wouldn't be right for Gordon to lose sponsorship or race opportunities because of a part sent to him in error.

That though, is my opinion, and not NASCAR's. His car was out of spec for a NASCAR race car, and he was penalized, says the sanctioning body.

I see both sides, but come on, it truly was an honest mistake. What say you?
Filed under: Sports