First, let me apologize for my serious delay in writing about Sonoma. The Monday following the race I came down with a cold and subsequently felt like crap ever since and didn’t feel like doing anything at all except breathing.
All posts tagged Robby Gordon16 Posts
I’ve been super slacking on my IndyCar duties so consider this post a catch-all, catch-up on the series.
I fully intended to write a post dedicated to Marco Andretti’s win at Iowa, but got sidetracked with other stuff. I’m still super stoked that he FINALLY got another win, but I’m really hoping he can pull off some of the same magic at Infineon Raceway this year. ‘Cause I’ll be at that race.
Am I the only person that is completely bored whenever Will Power or Dario Franchitti win a race? It’s really boring. I don’t dislike either driver, quite the contrary–I like them both a lot–but it’s so predictable. I think IndyCar might want to think about doing something to their points system to make things more interesting, ala NASCAR’s “Chase” structure.
In couple news… Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay married his girlfriend Beccy Gordon (Robby Gordon’s sister) on Sunday, July 3rd. Congrats Ryan & Beccy!
(all photos courtesy of INDYCAR)
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When I arrived at Infineon Raceway on Friday I was late. It was only 9am but it was late. The garage opened at 7am and that’s when people showed up, so the media lot was full when I arrived. I was stuck in lot 1 which is next to the helipad. It’s not a big deal (there’s an awesome shuttle that takes you right to the media center no matter where you’re parked) but it’s funny to me how 9am can be considered late for anything. Anyway, Friday was the day of press conferences for the top-12 drivers.
Friday morning in Las Vegas started with me arriving at the track just in time to interview J.J. Yeley at his hauler. But I found out that he had been asked to drive the No. 27 car for Baker Curb Racing in the Nationwide Series race. So he was participating in their practice session and wouldn’t be available till later in the day (We did end up connecting later in the day and I got some great answers from him).
It’s time for Round Two! But first let’s find out what happened in Round One.
Kyle Busch (68%) defeated Jeff Burton (32%)
Juan Pablo Montoya (62%) defeated Brian Vickers (38%)
Tony Stewart (97%) defeated David Reutimann (3%)
Paul Menard (71%) defeated Jimmie Johnson (29%)
Casey Mears (73%) defeated David Ragan (27%)
Regan Smith (86%) defeated Kevin Conway (14%)
This updates the brackets, which you can see below (click it to see it larger).
And now, I think this is when things are going to get even MORE interesting. Round Two is the largest group, it’ll be fun to see who makes it into Round Three. I was going to let Round Two last for two weeks but I have decided to run it for just a week. Votes poured in for Round One and I can only expect it to get crazier for this one, so I’m trying to contain it. Plus I’m highly impatient and two weeks sound like forever to find out the results.
So let’s get to it! Here are the match-ups for Round Two! You can vote as many times as you want each day until voting ends on Saturday, January 15th.
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
|Jamie McMurray||Kyle Busch|
|David Gilliland||Joey Logano|
|Clint Bowyer||Bobby Labonte|
|Kurt Busch||Travis Kvapil|
|Ryan Newman||Juan Pablo Montoya|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Scott Speed|
|Sam Hornish Jr.||Tony Stewart|
|Carl Edwards||Kasey Kahne|
|Kevin Harvick||Casey Mears|
|Elliott Sadler||Reed Sorenson|
|Greg Biffle||Martin Truex Jr.|
|Jeff Gordon||Marcos Ambrose|
|Brad Keselowski||Paul Menard|
|AJ Allmendinger||Matt Kenseth|
|Robby Gordon||Regan Smith|
|Mark Martin||Denny Hamlin|
UPDATE: Round Two voting has ended. Stay tuned for the results and Round Three!
The two races at Atlanta last weekend or as I like to call them “The Two Races Dale Earnhardt Jr. Had an Actual Chance of Winning,” were good stuff. What would have made them great of course would have been if Dale Jr. had gone and actually won one of them. But it was not to be.
This might be mean but my favorite part of the race came when Kurt Busch spun out, hitting Reed Sorenson in the process and had to take his Miller Lite Dodge to the garage. Luckily they had the camera on him when he got out of his car and pounded its roof. He was highly pissed and it was television magic.
The difference between the crowd gathered for the Nationwide Series drivers meeting and the one assembled for the Sprint Cup Series was like night and day. Friday it was me standing with the security guards but on Saturday I had to contend with a big crowd, a fence and those damn TV crews.
I made sure I was there early, like half an hour before it was all supposed to begin. Matt Kenseth arrived first with a Sirius satellite radio DJ in tow. Matt was very punctual on Saturday, he was also first at driver intros. So as per usual I tried to take as many photos as possible. My attempts at getting shots of guys and their shoes were foiled by guys from TNT filming people right in front of me.
In the drivers meeting they go over what’s going to happen before, during and after the race and what the rules are, or if there’s going to be a competition caution, etc. There’s a lot of stating the obvious, but it’s something you have to do. I couldn’t help but wonder though what it would be like if someone raised their hand at the end and said “So, what do I do if I win the race? Where do I go?” That’d be fun.
Kurt Busch walked into the drivers meeting with none other than pop singer Gavin DeGraw. I didn’t know who was singing the anthem until I saw him arrive. I have lukewarm feelings about Mr. DeGraw. I want to like him, he has a nice voice, but his music always leaves me wanting something more. Anywho, I ended up seeing him a lot after that. I almost bumped into him coming out of the bathroom in the media center; he was pacing around warming up his vocal cords.
After the drivers meeting came driver intros. I trekked out onto the grass and proceeded to get my socks and shoes totally soaked by the soggy field. I decided to stake out the opposite side of the stage that no one was on because it was the best angle to get great photos. Of course security had to come over and rain on my parade and told me I had to go to either the front of the stage or the other side. They had to keep that area clear. Dagnabit!
Okay, so let’s talk about that tribute to Richard Petty and his 50 years of NASCAR racing. It’s amazing it’s been that long. I thought it was such a great idea to have all the drivers wear, what has become his signature accessory, the cowboy hat. However, it was clear that he should be the only person wearing those suckers. The King is the only person who looks good in them as far as I’m concerned.
Check out the photo below. Who’s missing from it? In spite of what they were saying at the time all 43 drivers weren’t there to take this photo. Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards all showed up later just in time for the actual driver introductions. Oh and someone else is missing from the photo too but I can’t remember who it is. Any guesses?
43 drivers starting the LifeLock.com 400 pose with Richard Petty, who was celebrating his 50th anniversary in NASCAR. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
He’s always got a smile on his face!
Richard Petty stands behind the stage before his tribute begins at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Robby Gordon walks with Richard Childress to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. walks to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Singer Gavin DeGraw (left) walks to the drivers meeting with Kurt Busch at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
David Gilliland walks to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Jeff Gordon walks to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
Martin Truex Jr. walks to the drivers meeting at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday July 12, 2008. (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)
I’m gearing up for my trip to Chicago tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m going to attempt to document my trip with video but we’ll see how that goes.
I checked the weather today and there’s a 40% chance of rain at Chicagoland on Saturday. There’s supposed to be isolated thunderstorms in the evening. Ew.
So, did you know that Carl Edwards was once a substitute teacher? I just found that out. Carl will be at the Office Depot store in Frankfort, IL (11145 West Lincoln Highway) tomorrow at 11am, in order to help The Office Depot Foundation with their “Back To School” event. The Foundation is donating 3,000 backpacks to local organizations that work with kids in the greater-Chicago area. There’s also an opportunity to meet Carl and get his autograph at the same store from noon to 1pm. Get there early though, they start passing out wristbands at 8am, one per person with only 200 available.
One more thing about Carl, his No. 99 Office Depot Ford will have a special super cool paint scheme this weekend:
The No. 99 Office Depot Ford piloted by Edwards will feature a one-of-a-kind “Taking Care of Business” paint scheme this weekend, featuring the individual signatures of close to 8,000 Office Depot associates from around the world. The signatures – collected from Canada to Korea, from Slovakia to Spain, from the United States to the United Kingdom – are representative of the fact that Office Depot associates in more than 40 countries across the globe help customers “take care of business” every day.
In other appearance news:
– In association with Jim Beam, Robby Gordon will be at the Cadillac Ranch in Bartlett, IL (1175 W Lake Street) tomorrow night from 10pm to 11pm.
– The crew of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet (including Tony Eury Jr.) are taking in a Cubs game tonight at Wrigley Field.
In other regular news:
– Jimmy Elledge is joining Red Bull Racing as the crew chief for AJ Allmendinger and the No. 84 team. AJ seems to be happy to have the help: “Of all the crew chiefs in the Cup garage, Jimmy is one of the only ones I’ve spoken to and had a chance to get to know. When I drove a few Nationwide races at Ganassi last year, Jimmy was always helpful. He’s a guy with a lot of crew chief experience and has a good knowledge of these race cars, so I’m looking forward to turning this season around together.”
Good for them, I hope it works out.
So I have this new vow that whenever I get media credentials I’m going to make the most of them. I’m going to do everything and access everything that my credentials will allow, at least, all of the stuff that I know about. There were three symbols whose meaning I never got around to figuring out. So anyway, back to making the most of things. I knew I wanted to get to the drivers introduction stage but it was way out on the start/finish line and not on pit road like it had been at California. So I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to be out there. Plus I didn’t see any of the media people that I recognized out there, but as I like to say “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So I went out there and one of the security people let me through.
Before the start of driver introductions there were a bunch of small introductory speeches by various big wigs, the Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman, SMI Chairman of the Board Bruton Smith, etc. And then the Blue Man Group put on a little show. They were really cool to see in person, even if I only saw the right side of the stage. I thought it was fun having them perform. Musical/theatrical shows are such a Vegas thing and it’s only fitting to have one before the start of the race, plus it’s like you get a little extra for all the money you shelled out for the tickets.
While the blue dudes were performing Clint Bowyer walked out on to the grass with a bunch of guys I’m assuming were his friends. He stopped to check out the show like right next to where I was standing. It was the most awkward thing. Should I stand there and look at the show like “yea I think the show is really cool too Clint” or should I stare at him and snap as many photos as possible right in his face? Well I chose a sort of combination of the two. I took photos of him, and stared at him and also tried to move out of his way so that he could get a better look at the show, all the while trying to be nonchalant about the whole thing.
And so eventually all of the drivers streamed out onto the grass behind the stage. Dale Earnhardt Jr. sped by in his requisite black hoodie and into the tented backstage area. Meanwhile a woman standing next to me with a very large chest area had Robby Gordon sign her boobs, I mean, shirt.
Robby Gordon signs a fan’s
boob shirt at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.
Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.
Clint Bowyer watches The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.
The Blue Man Group perform before the start of the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.
J.J. Yeley and his adorable daughter Faith exit the stage during driver introductions at the UAW-Dodge 400 in Las Vegas.
Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya and David Reutimann (sitting) hang out before they’re introduced at driver introductions.
I don’t have much to say in regards to the race at California this past weekend. It didn’t seem to be that interesting, either that or my lack of excitement about the race could be the result of being back at work, after having 4 luxurious days off.
I have thoughts about the third episode of NASCAR in Primetime which I finally watched (thanks to Tivo) on Friday. The fan commentary that they feature on the show is just ok. It’s more relevant to me when they talk about fan things, like the camping area at Talladega. I know that I shouldn’t be, but I’m shocked that women are showing their boobs to random strangers for plastic beads. It looked like a weird mash-up of Mardi Gras and Woodstock.
Previously I wrote about California Speedway’s marketing attempts to get more butts in the seat for the race this weekend. Their party at Hollywood club Avalon did get attention, but I don’t know if it was the kind they wanted? There were a couple mentions in some celebrity gossip blogs. The mentions were about the pop/r&b singer Rihanna. You know her, or at the least her song “Shut up & Drive” that ESPN loved to play all the freaking time. Anyway, she was the only celeb of note because she was the only one that the Associated Press took the time to photograph coming down the red carpet and she was the only one that garnered these small mentions in the blogs IDon’tLikeUThatWay and PerezHilton.com.
I’ve heard that NASCAR drivers besides Jeff Gordon attended this party but I have yet to see any photographic evidence suggesting proving that to be true. Next year California Speedway should step up their celebrity quotient for the party, because from what I can see they managed only D-list celebs, if you can even call them that.
In other news…
– I know this will surprise you, but Kurt Busch, and his wife Eva, got a new dog. A black & tan Norwich terrier named Lola. The only reason I’m posting this is because the dog is adorable.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives the best quotes:
What do people expect me to say when they keep asking me about the point standings? I check the standings right after each race and then I forget about it. I know we’re a long way back (from 12th-place Kevin Harvick), and even though we have a mathematical chance to get into the Chase, we’re going to worry about things within our own control.
– For all you soap opera fans get your Tivos ready — Jamie McMurray will be on an episode of “Passions” airing September 26th on NBC. Jamie filmed his scene last week in L.A.
When the lights were up and the cameras were rolling, it only took McMurray one shot to nail his lines.
We only had to take the shot one time, which is typically how they shoot those soap operas. They practice once and take once. I guess when your show is on five days a week you really have to be quick in learning the lines and making sure you don’t mess up. Overall I had a great time and really enjoyed meeting the entire cast and crew of “Passions.”
And now for photo fun time…
Robby Gordon prepares for practice at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. waits for practice to start at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch takes a break during practice at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson receives a hug from wife Chandra in victory lane at California Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
After all of the hubbub surrounding the events in the final laps of the NAPA Auto Parts 200 last weekend it seems that Robby Gordon will come out of it all smelling less like a rat and more like a rose.
In what I think is the best peace offering you can get in NASCAR, Gordon offered Marcos Ambrose (the dude that spun him out and then Gordon spun him out in retaliation) a Cup ride in his Robby Gordon Motorsports No. 77 Camping World Ford Fusion for this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen. Ambrose has accepted.
I think it’s a great, fitting ending to this semi-dramatic series of events. I’m not adding Robby Gordon to my list of NASCAR bad guys just yet.
But I can tell you what team is quickly becoming a hub for guys in the “big tool” club. That would have to be Joe Gibbs Racing. As much as I would like for that to not be the case it just is. You’ve got the founding member, Tony Stewart, and now Kyle Busch. Ech. I’m sorry that J.J. Yeley must leave JGR to make way for Busch. That must suck; ya gotta give up your ride for that nerd? Sad. Anyway, Denny Hamlin has managed to stay pretty humble and still has a gleaming halo above his head. But ya never know, all that egotastic arrogance in the shop at JGR could start spilling over to the No. 11 team.
If you can’t laugh at my artist rendering of the future team that will be Joe Gibbs Racing then you have no sense of humor to speak of… hehe
In other news…
If you’re a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. then you should already know Matthew Good. He’s a musician and Dale Jr. has been a fan of his for quite some time. Good’s latest CD titled “Hospital Music” is out now. You can get it for only $7.99 on iTunes. Plus for the past week, I think the promotion ended yesterday (sorry), iTunes had the song “Born Losers” available to download for free. It’s good music, kinda reminds me of Ryan Adams, and I recommend you check him out.
If only I could have seen it all unfold live. I had a family party to attend so I wasn’t able to watch the end of the first-ever Canadian Busch race in all of its dramatic glory. (Although I do have it Tivo’d for my viewing pleasure sometime tonight)
Oh Robby Gordon, you made that inaugural race one to remember and I am thankful to you for that. I don’t disagree with Robby’s actions. Ok, maybe the victory burnouts at the end were wrong but overall I understand his reasoning for not giving up his position during the caution. He was spun out during an obvious caution period and he’s supposed to go back to 13th whilst the dude that screwed him gets to stay up front?
An excerpt from Robby’s official statement:
It was not my purpose to disrespect the authority of NASCAR or the officials. I do respect their authority to run the race and make the calls, and I understand the significance of the black flag. I strongly disagree with the calls that affected me at the end of the race. Being spun under the yellow and not being allowed to resume my position prior to the spin put me in a position to react as I did. Nonetheless, I accept NASCAR’s decision and I intend to move forward under the rules.
In this instance I’ve gotta be on Robby’s side. I don’t know why NASCAR and the media are acting like he shot the President or something. He didn’t kill any dogs… He just didn’t agree with the lame ruling NASCAR came up with. It is possible for NASCAR to get things wrong from time to time.
This is funny to me because just before the start of the race I think it was the director of competition for the Busch Series saying that the goals for the future of the Series was to figure out more ways to try and differentiate it from the Cup Series.
Ask and ye shall receive.
Robby Gordon runs in front of Ron Hornaday at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge / Getty Images for NASCAR)
It just occurred to me, the thought of Kyle Busch possibly sitting in the No. 8 car. I feel nauseous.
I don’t care what Hendrick Motorsports has to do but they must get that number from DEI. While it isn’t for sure that Kyle is going to DEI to fill that empty slot, I don’t think anyone else but Dale Earnhardt Jr. should be able to use that number. I mean, can you imagine some schmo using Michael Jordan’s number?? Uh no. Ok, Dale isn’t on the same level as MJ yet but he does have the same level of popularity and it would be insanity to let someone else use it.
The number 8 is synonymous with Dale Jr. Separating the two would be like breaking up the Captain & Tennille, or Batman & Robin… Lindsay Lohan & drugs… hehe… just kidding. The point is that when you think of one you instantly think of the other. This number is important. I can swallow Dale running a No. 08 or 81, but I can’t take someone else running the No. 8. That just can’t happen.
In other news…
– Did you know that Robby Gordon won his first NASCAR Nextel Cup race at NHIS back in 2001? Annnd… he’s the only driver in Nextel cup history to win his first race at New Hamphsire.
– If you’re up for meeting No. 40 Coors Wide Mouth Can Dodge driver David Stremme tonight here’s your chance to do it! (Provided that you are already in New Hampshire)
David Stremme will participate in the Coors Light Annual Pub Tour Friday night from 7-9pm in and around the Concord, N.H. area in advance of Sunday’s New England 300. Stremme and guests from Capitol Distributors (the local Coors distributor) will hit four local area pubs so keep your eyes open for the Coors Light crew Friday night.
Do you feel that? It’s pressure… Who knew all of this pressure would be mounting for this year’s road course race at Infineon?
There are so many names being thrown out of potential winners it’s getting crazy. I almost wish I could ditch my nephews birthday party to see it in person… almost. I have some serious objections to Juan Pablo Montoya winning this puppy. Why? Because he won’t appreciate it. After he won in Mexico earlier this year (a road course track) he said he wanted to win at an oval next. So given his charismatic and warm attitude (that’s serious sarcasm folks) I’m sure he’d be oh so ecstatic to get a win at another road course. I’m sure he’d be happy in general about winning but he’d still whine that he hadn’t won at a super speedway yet. So I don’t accept that. I don’t even want to imagine it happening.
I’d much rather see AJ Allmendinger pull out a miracle win instead. The kid can do it, if he can qualify. Keep your fingers crossed because that would just be too much fun to watch. He’s got stiff competition from ringers like Boris Said and Ron Fellows, but also a cup regular like Robby Gordon.
In other news…
– Wanna know more about Crew Chiefs? Check out the Crew Chief Club website. I just stumbled upon this site today via Larry McReynolds’ column on FoxSports.com. There isn’t a lot of daily changing information on it (except for a link to Larry Mac’s weekly columns), but still you can get some background info on some of the top Crew Chiefs in NASCAR.
– A big thank you to all of you who have filled out my quick ‘Fabulous’ survey. I really, really appreciate it. If you haven’t filled it out yet, you should… I’ll be your best friend!
This is my long overdue post about Las Vegas. This post is already so old that tomorrow is qualifying for this weekend’s race at Atlana. Geesh! I apologize, there has been a lot going on lately but now I will entertain you with my thoughts on the race in Vegas.
– First off, Monday was Casey Mears’ (left) birthday. He turned 29 and received a lousy gift from Robby Gordon in the form of a crash that took him out of the race at Vegas on Sunday for a little while. He ended up finishing in a very unhappy 40th place. (photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
– Overall, I kinda felt like the race at Las Vegas was boring. I know there were a bunch of crashes but it still didn’t seem very exciting. Maybe it had to do with the fact that Jimmie Johnson won for the third straight time at the track. It’s just boring when the same people win. I just want a newbie (or semi-newbie) to win one finally! Ya hear that Clint Bowyer? J.J. Yeley??
– There was a lot of star power at this race in the form of Mark Wahlberg (promoting his new flick “Shooter”), MTV VJ Vanessa Minnillo, singer Nick Lachey (who is dating Vanessa), Magic Johnson and the wrestler Goldberg. The only person I ever saw on camera during the race was Mark Wahlberg who mentioned something about wanting to do a movie about racing. I’ll totally take you up on that one Mark! Great idea. He’d make a hot race car driver.
– This point has nothing to do with the Cup race at Vegas, but everything to do with the Busch Series race on Saturday. I don’t like ESPN’s coverage of the races because the only guy in the booth that really knows anything is Rusty Wallace (former Cup driver). The other guys in the booths are asking him questions like, “What’s that?” “What does that do??” OK, so I’m exaggerating but it comes close. And to be fair, it’s not all of the guys on the ESPN team, certainly not the pit road reporters, but it’s enough to make me wonder how they got their jobs.
And now on to the photos…
How hot is Rookie Aric Almirola?? That hot!
Aric Almirola walks in the garage area on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Former wrestler Bill Goldberg jokes around with Roush Racing crew member Dave “Mule” Nichols at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Greg Biffle (left) and crew chief Pat Tryson look on. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks with Magic Johnson at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Photo Credit: John Harrleson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Yes folks, they’re that skinny!
Left to right: Jimmie Johnson, Chandra Johnson, Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey celebrate Johnson’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Mark Wahlberg talks to the media on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)