Chief Problem for R. Gordon

by Fraser Lovat on February 20, 2008 @ 15:11:23 PDT reports Robby Gordon Motorsports driver Robby Gordon was penalized 100 points Wednesday, Feb. 20, because of rule infractions found during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. His crew chief, Frank Kerr, was fined $100,000, suspended for the next six races and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2008. Gordon's car was in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-3.10A (unapproved front bumper cover). The violations were found during an opening day inspection Feb. 8.

A total of 10 teams in three different series were penalized and fined for infractions found during the races and qualifying at Daytona International Speedway, but Gordon's was the steepest. He was fined for having an unapproved front bumper on the No. 7 Dodge during opening day inspections and fell from ninth in the Sprint Cup points standings to 40th after the 100-point penalty. Gordon said that it was an innocent mistake made by someone not on the team, saying someone accidentally supplied his team with new Dodge noses that are not yet approved by NASCAR. He said there was no intent to create a competitive advantage, the penalty was a bit harsh and that he would appeal the penalty.

Gordon, who had the best finish in the Daytona 500 of his career, had recently merged his team with Gillett Evernham Motorsports, which changed his ride from a Ford to a Dodge. Gordon will have to compete in the next six races without Kerr. Currently, it's unknown who will fill-in as crew chief for Gordon in the upcoming races, which kick off with the Auto Club 500 at the California Speedway.

Fantasy owners shouldn't panic with the recent penalties levied on Gordon. He was never a true threat to compete for the Cup. However, after recording his best finish at Daytona, it has to be encouraging considering he has not won a race since 2003 and only has one top-five finish in each of the last three seasons. The merger with GEM has improved his odds at success after being a one-man show for 14 years and now being behind the wheel of a Dodge. The loss of Gordon's crew chief is unfortunate since the two were off to a good start after Kerr replaced Pete Sospenzo as his crew chief, but Kerr is expected to be back before Gordon gets to the road courses, where he is always a threat.

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About Fraser Lovat

Fraser is a Hot off the Wire Analyst with KFFL and has been with the company since 2007.

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