Robbie Gordon Wins in NASCAR!!
OK, he didn’t win an actual race. But he won something even more unlikely – an appeal of penalties imposed by NASCAR for a rules infraction.
Gordon was penalized for using an improper nose on his Dodge at the Daytona 500. NASCAR spotted it, so it didn’t get on the track. But they docked Gordon 100 owner points, 100 driver points, suspended his crew chief for six races and fined the crew chief $100,000.
Gordon appealed, arguing that it wasn’t his fault – it was Dodge’s fault. They sent out the part and told his team that it had been approved. It hadn’t been. It was a screw-up at the Dodge end, at the warehouse.
(more after the jump)
But it was a potential killer for Gordon and his team, as the loss of the owner points would have moved him to 42nd in points, a level at which he’s no longer guaranteed a starting slot. That portended serious sponsorship problems for Gordon. Without the penalty, he would have been 21st, comfortably within the top 35 that are guaranteed a starting slot.
So, he appealed.
Nobody ever wins one of these NASCAR appeals.
But, somehow, Gordon did. The points penalties, both driver and owner, were eliminated. So, too, was the crew chief suspension. As a sop to NASCAR, the appeal panel boosted the fine to $150,000, but Gordon – rightly – was jubilant at his success, saying that he’d been punished for a crime the team didn’t commit.
The appeal panel included Bud Moore, lengendary NASCAR team owner. The panel concluded that the Gordon team had violated the rules, but that the penalty was excessive.
According to published reports, the primary difference in the nose between the illegal one and one that had been approved related to the location of a trim crossbar.