Good Article on RG

RGFan

Well-Known Member
Interesting Article on RG

Alot of truth in this article....Also sounds like this past weekend could be the weekend that breaks RGM.

Robby Gordon needs to get something going at Watkins Glen….so he can sign 2009 NASCAR sponsorships


By Mike Mulhern
mmulhern@wsjournal.com


If Tony Stewart thinks becoming a NASCAR owner-driver will be any panacea next season – even with hefty support from General Motors and Chevy team owner Rick Hendrick – maybe he should drop by Robby Gordon’s hauler or motorcoach and listen for a while.

Gordon gave up a solid job as winning driver for top-notch GM owner Richard Childress four years ago in order to set up a NASCAR team of his own and be his own boss. But he’s still winless on the Cup tour since, and prospects for winning, well, this weekend’s stop at Watkins Glen may be the best shot Gordon has this season to snap that long losing streak.

And there are signs that Gordon, typically upbeat and optimistic about his life on the stock car tour and in those wild off-road events, is getting beaten down by the winds of fate that have been battering him pretty hard lately.

First, there was the Dakar disaster. That January off-road race has been a showcase for Gordon off-season the last few years, and with major GM support he was banking on kicking off this season with something splashy over there. Then the organizers of that event decided terrorists threats were too serious and they cancelled the event. That left Gordon holding the bag. And that substitute event through Romania and Hungary was no make-up.

Then he went through a bad run of luck in the opening weeks of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. That eighth in the Daytona 500 may have seemed promising, particularly after that NASCAR penalty shocker, but Gordon didn’t score a top-10 again until Daytona’s 400 just a few weeks ago. Heck, Gordon only managed one top-20 during that dismal stretch.



Sponsors are hard to come by this season, and Gordon has lost out big-time, forced to run an unsponsored black paint scheme more times than he expected. Now he’s under the gun to get Jim Beam back as sponsor for 2009….and how well Gordon performs this weekend at Watkins Glen may be key.

Gordon swept Sonoma and the Glen in 2003 while driving for Childress, and the case can be easily made that he made a major mistake leaving the Winston-Salem car owner to pursue a career as owner-driver.

And Gordon may well have made a big mistake in leaving the Chevrolet camp. Last year he was with Ford, but the big story there was car owner Jack Roush taking Gordon’s crew chief, Greg Erwin. This year he jumped to Dodge just days before SpeedWeeks opened….and NASCAR ripped him for $100,000 for having the wrong bumper the first day. He did win an appeal of a points-deduction too, but he’s still just barely hanging in the top-35 – that’s the cutoff for having a guaranteed starting spot in each Sunday’s field.

Gordon has yet to really squelch all those complaints. And he’ll be 40 for next season’s Daytona 500 – not a doomsday milestone by any means, but Gordon needs to start making things happen.

And if Gordon can’t make something big happen at the Glen this weekend….

For those who want to follow Gordon’s uphill quest, he’ll have an in-car ESPN camera Sunday, and he’ll be one of NASCAR’s DirecTV HotPass picks (channels 793 and 798).

Hopefully none of that TV equipment will blow up – like it did at the Glen a few years back, in a bizarre incident that forced him to bail out of his smoke-filled car while on the run toward victory.



“I obviously look forward to the road courses all season and view them as our best opportunities to shine,” Gordon says. “We tested Road Atlanta last week and have spent the last few weeks perfecting our cars for this weekend’s races. I feel really good about this weekend and think we have a legitimate shot of being in victory lane Saturday and Sunday.

“Watkins Glen could be the race we’ve been looking forward to…and the start of something big for our team.

“We have probably a one-in-five or 1-in-10 shot of winning. We put a lot of effort into our road racing effort. This is something I’ve done for 15 years now and I have a lot of experience road racing.”

But the bottom line is Gordon needs to line up big sponsorship for next season. The benchmark is about $30 million; that’s the budget half a dozen top NASCAR Cup teams have to work with. And the bare minimum, according to car owner Felix Sabates, is $22 million.

That’s a lot of money for anyone to try to persuade a company to spend in this sport, particularly on a team that is still winless.

So it may be over-the-top for anyone to suggest Gordon needs to be making plans to expand to a second team. Single-car teams, to be frank, don’t have a chance in NASCAR these days. Even multi-car teams struggle, like Chip Ganassi can attest.

But maybe Gordon can get lucky and put together something for a second team, because it takes at least a two-car operation even to have a prayer in this sport.



“We still haven’t won with one car…but this weekend’s race hasn’t happened yet either,” Gordon says.

“It’s important to make one car run good first. And we’ve been able to stay inside the top-35.

“But we’d like to position ourselves to win races. A second car is going to help in that. The thing is ‘Who’s going to pay for it, how are you going to do it, and what sponsors are going to be involved in it?

“Obviously sponsors want to be involved with a team that can win races…and I look at this weekend as an opportunity of putting our team in victory lane,” Gordon said, with a trace of panic perhaps. “There have only been three teams this year in victory lane. So if we could pull it off, that would be big.

“I don’t do this out of my own pocket. If I had to pay a driver, I’d probably be in trouble. But because I am the driver and the owner, we can do a little bit of give-and-take and get through, like we’re doing now.”


The rain at Montreal last weekend? Gordon clearly has to be politically correct at the moment, because of his tenuous fight for sponsorship. And that may be chaffing for a guy who is one of the sport’s most outspoken and most volatile.

Gordon wouldn’t bite when pressed about complaints that NASCAR shouldn’t have gone with rain tires at Montreal, for safety reasons as much as anything.

“It looked to me like everybody enjoyed it,” Gordon said diplomatically. “The biggest problem they had was the window fogging up.

“The fans, they put up their umbrellas and they went for it. There are definitely some true fans there in Canada. They were very supportive of the event.”

Uh, yeah. Gordon can make that pitch….but isn’t this the same guy who pitched such a temper tantrum at Montreal last summer?

Oh, well.


Besides, Gordon has more on his mind at the moment: like finishing better than that 36th at Sonoma.

“Hopefully we don’t run ourselves out of fuel at Watkins, and we put ourselves in a position to time the pit stops right,” Gordon says ruefully.

“And if we do, I think we’ve got a legitimate shot at winning.

“Pit strategy has a lot to do with winning. Fuel mileage has a lot to do with it. And timing a caution right.

“Our cars have been fast at Sonoma. We ran in the top-three the first half of the (June) race…till we pushed it on fuel mileage. We hung ourselves out. We’ve either not gotten the fuel mileage to have the pit strategy, or we made some bad calls, or had a bad pit stop.

“And there are a lot of good road racers in NASCAR. Mark Martin (who has been very hot lately in that DEI Chevy) has been a phenomenal road racer for as long as I can remember; I teamed up with him in the late ‘80s and we won the 24 Hours of Daytona together.


“Now Ron Fellows—winning in the rain at Montreal – is a normal, traditional road race driver who has some experience – and advantage—in rain situations.

“But the last eight years in Cup races it’s been a NASCAR regular who’s won.”

And maybe this weekend that will – finally – be Robby Gordon.
 
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b-makk

Well-Known Member
Wish somebody would take him on in Cup and use his shop as the Busch & truck programs - like Jr & Hendrick
 

RGFan

Well-Known Member
Wish somebody would take him on in Cup and use his shop as the Busch & truck programs - like Jr & Hendrick
Exactly. People keep using the excuse of that it is not profitable to run a team in the minor leagues......There are several teams who are doing it year in and year out. If Kevin Harvick can do it (and flourish), I think RG would be more then capable, especially after going thru what he has in the last few years. WIth that being said, every time he opens up his mouth and slams somebody (Yates, Roush, DEI, Hendrick, and now GEM) publicly, those are several more groups who will not be there to help him, even when he is right. Some think I am being a pessimist.......I call it reality.....A single car team, can not, will not compete for a championship, it will never come close. That is why they all compete in the bottom half of the points, all of them. So why should I live in la la land pretending that something could happen that is essentially an impossibility.

RG is one of the most talented drivers in the world. I will always root for him, have for years. But I would rather watch the guy succeed as a driver and grow his team in a venue/s where he has a legitimate shot at succeeding. Cup is not one of those venues IMO.;) And quite frankly it sucks watching a guy fail and be a back marker when he should be a contender. Without a doubt he could be profitable in other forms of motorsports. Cup is a way to make the quick buck, true, but if he really wants to grow RGM as he has stated, IMO longevity should be the goal, not the quick buck. Being Derrick Cope to support his other habits is not the way to go
 
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baja619

Well-Known Member
Where did he finish?

Everytime I came across the race he was way in the back of the field, Why?
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
Cause he stopped for an unnecessary splash of fuel, just after a regular pit stop.

Or atleast thats what the announcers and radio relayers said. :)
 

woundedyak

Mammals fear me
Cause he stopped for an unnecessary splash of fuel, just after a regular pit stop.

Or atleast thats what the announcers and radio relayers said. :)
The #48 made an extra stop for a bad tire and still finished up front!
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
yes he did, the problem is where there respective positions were on the track, JJ had time to make a stop without going a lap down, RG didnt.. which makes a splash of fuel, a few laps after you topped off AND early in the race seem pretty silly IMO.

Unless there was something they needed to check that none of us was aware of, doubtful though
 

RGFan

Well-Known Member
yes he did, the problem is where there respective positions were on the track, JJ had time to make a stop without going a lap down, RG didnt.. which makes a splash of fuel, a few laps after you topped off AND early in the race seem pretty silly IMO.

Unless there was something they needed to check that none of us was aware of, doubtful though
Robby fell off of the pace in the first place because he was looking at the oil temp gauge intsead of the water temp gauge and thought he was overheating, he was trying get out of traffic and cool down the car. Poor pit strategy and a ridiculous mistake is what cost them a solid finish. Mistakes like those are not the signs of a professional organization. You would never see the combination of things that went down with RGM happen that way at a powerhouse. As far as strategy goes, RGM need to expirement with strategy in the first place because they know they can not be competetive. That is what non-competetive teams do, in an attempt to perhaps get lucky.
 
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