Thursday, March 6, 2008

Robby Gordon appeal successful, team still hosed

When NASCAR issues a penalty, their decree could be scribed in stone. The chance of a team being able to successfully appeal a NASCAR penalty is almost non-existent. It just does not happen. Robby Gordon knows this all too well. His list of past NASCAR-ruled indiscretions is long and distinguished (Daytona 2005, New Hampshire 2005, Montreal 2007, et al). His most recent clash with the NASCAR-rule gestapo took place after a practice session for the Daytona 500. A tech inspection found an non-approved bumper cover on Gordon's car. The penalties were stiff:

  1. Loss of 100 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Robby Gordon.

  2. Loss of 100 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver Points for driver Robby Gordon.

  3. $100,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until April 9, 2008, and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief, Frank Kerr.

This all seemed well and good, until Gordon appealed, citing the fact that the bumper cover in question came right from the manufacturer and its use on Gordon's car amounted to nothing more than a clerical error by the manufacturer. Jim Beam stood behind Gordon, like any good liqour company would.

Well, the appeal decision came down yesterday and NASCAR caved. Sort of. Unwilling to admit fault, the National Stock Car Racing Commission gave Gordon his points back and reversed the suspension of crew chief Frank Kerr. However, the fine was upped from $100,000 to $150,000. Think about this for minute... It is like buying a hooker, screwing her in the back seat of your El Camino, punching her in the throat, apologizing, then making her buy dinner (for those not down with metaphor/hypothetical scenarios, Gordon's team is the hooker). Here is Gordon's response to the penalty pseudo-repeal.

Right on, Robby. We'll call it a victory too. Maybe.

1 comment:

Dan said...

$150,000 for an "unauthorized" bumper cover. I could write an entire thesis on the decline of NASCAR, but that sums it up just as well.

- Dan

P.S. - El Caminos don't have back seats. Maybe if they did, Eliot Spitzer wouldn't be in the mess he's in now. I know I'm reaching, but I felt like going for the cheap tie-in. You just have to take advantage of these things as they come along.