With the entry lists published by NASCAR late Monday it was confirmed that Robby Gordon will not be making the trip to the Finger Lakes this weekend. Gordon was not among the 43 drivers listed for Sunday’s Finger Lakes 355 At The Glen nor the 48 entries for Saturday’s Zippo 200.
Gordon’s representatives confirmed that this was because of a lack of funding for Gordon, that he didn’t want to put in a start and park effort. There is rumor too that he turned down rides with other teams that were not competitive, but this is unconfirmed.
This is disappointing for a couple of reasons, the first is I’m admittedly a big fan of Gordon’s, span back to when he drove the Kodak car for the first couple of races in 2001. I’ve always pulled for his rebellious attitude and determination to win. Furthermore his energy drink, SPEED Energy, is fantastic and I was looking forward to stopping by their trailer to buy some during the weekend.
The bigger disappointment is again, we have a driver who can compete here, who just can’t get sponsorship, even to run just one race. When you have Matt Kenseth, former champion, struggling to get sponsorship, Trevor Bayne, Daytona 500 champion with a ton of upside, struggling to get sponsorship, where does that leave drivers like Robby Gordon? Winners, yes, house hold names, not so much. That’s why I admired him to create his energy drink to help him race, but so far it has not panned out.
This will be first time he has missed the Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen since 1999. He won the event in 2003 driving for Richard Childress Racing, and in 2001 was well on his way to victory when the in-car telemetry device blew up in his car. Last year he finished 24th in the Sprint Cup race, and last raced in the Nationwide Series there in 2009, finishing 14th. There has been no talk for future Cup Series races for Gordon, as most (well me) presumed Watkins Glen would be his next and possibly final race of the year.