Interesting Article on RG

Clifford

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Posted on Fri, Oct. 11, 2002

Pair of racers become aces
in the eyes of these fans
By DAVID POOLE
The Charlotte Observer

Until Thursday night, Jeff Tibbits didn't like Robby Gordon or Tony Stewart - at all.
Tibbits, his wife, Leigh Ann, and sister-in-law Robyn Jordan had garage passes for pole night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. After taking some pictures, getting an up-close look at race teams at work and being loaned an umbrella by a member of Ricky Rudd's crew, Tibbits' group was standing near Kevin Harvick's hauler as Tibbits tried to describe what the inside looked like.

"Please, be my guest," said a man Tibbits didn't instantly recognize, inviting them in. It was Robby Gordon.

"We're looking around at all the gadgetry, like kids in a candy store," Tibbits said. "...Robby approaches us with three Kevin Harvick hats in hand and says, 'I'm Robby Gordon. ...Star struck, we tell him our names. He hands us the hats, saying with a laugh, 'Harvick won't mind. Besides, he's got plenty'"

Later, back in the garage area, they saw Gordon in his garage stall and he motioned them over, introducing them to members of his team and to his sister, Becky.

"He proceeds to stand there talking with us for the next hour, asking all about our lives, what we do, where we live, who we are there with and so on," Tibbits said.

When the rain returned and qualifying was postponed, the group located the Rudd crewman to return the umbrella, but he told them to keep it. The group huddled under the umbrella and started the long walk to their car outside the track. Just as they left the garage, an SUV pulled alongside and offered the group a ride to the car.

The driver? Tony Stewart.

"Tony didn't wind up taking us all the way to our car," Tibbits said. "He had already picked up three other passengers and did his best to split the difference between our parking spot and theirs."

Tibbits now needs new drivers to pull against.

"Watch out how you judge people," he said in an e-mail telling this story. "How sweet this world can be if we just give people a chance. Thanks Robby and Tony! Your sponsors should be proud. Your parents should, too."
 
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