Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 7 Speed Energy Dodge for the team that bears his name, was placed on immediate and indefinite probation today by NASCAR. Gordon apparently had an altercation in the garage area Friday evening with Kevin Conway, another Cup driver with whom Gordon had prior business dealings that went south.
[media-credit name=”Gary Buchanan ” align=”alignright” width=”214″][/media-credit]In fact, Robby Gordon Motorsports had filed a lawsuit against Extenze, Conway’s primary sponsor, for $690,000 in damages based on the failure to pay their portion of the sponsorship to Gordon after Conway came to race with him to continue his Rookie of the Year run in 2010.
The disagreement stemmed from the fact that Gordon replaced Conway in the car in order to keep it in the top 35 in the point standings and Extenze refused sponsorship payment based on their contention that they did not approve the driver change.
While Conway was not named in the lawsuit by Robby Gordon Motorsports, Conway did have a financial stake in the deal. Conway reaped approximately $116,000 in a percentage of the purse as well as his Rookie of the Year winnings.
In the midst of Nationwide qualifying and the start of Cup practice, Kerry Tharp of NASCAR made the surprising announcing about Gordon’s probation in the media center this afternoon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“We met about the situation this morning and reacted accordingly,” Tharp said. “We will continue to look at this situation involving Robby Gordon.”
“We took emergency action that is stipulated in the rule book for us to be able to react this way and place him on probation.”
Tharp announced that although Gordon would still be able to compete in this weekend’s race, his probation was indeed indefinite.
“There is no time frame on it right now,” Tharp said. “It could be revised as we move along but the action we took today, we just placed him on probation, period.”
Tharp advised that he did not witness the incident so felt that he could not elaborate on it.
“It was an incident in the garage between him and another driver that took place,” was all that Tharp would confirm.
Gordon qualified 38th for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.