Robby Gordon isn't happy with Kevin Conway, saying Conway owes him over $600,000 for race cars (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)
(Updated/With Conway Statement)
By Mike Mulhern
NASCAR's 'Boys, have at it,' apparently has some limits.
But Robby Gordon, now on NASCAR probation, is taking the latest twist in his dispute with Kevin Conway in stride, despite Conway having filed a complaint with the local police department over Friday afternoon's between-the-trucks run-in.
The basic debate is over money – Conway made a deal to run Gordon's Sprint Cup cars in seven races last summer, and Conway says Gordon owes him some $29,000 in race earnings. Gordon, in turn, says Conway still owes him close to $700,000 for the use of his cars in those events.
"It's simple," Gordon says of the financial dispute. "I'll pay him his money when he pays me my money….because he couldn't have earned that money if I hadn't put that car out on the track."
The two men are making court depositions in that dispute.
The Friday incident itself here was apparently not witnessed by anyone. Saturday NASCAR officials said they would put Gordon on indefinite probation over the issue, but they said any further comment on the matter would have to come from the drivers themselves. NASCAR 'probation' has been a rather nebulous penalty over the years; Gordon will still be allowed to race.
Conway declined to discuss the situation.
Gordon described the confrontation as verbal: "He got in my face….and I told him….well, if he wants to go to the police, that's, well…."
Gordon actually used slightly more colorful language in describing the encounter.
Conway issued the following statement:
"I don't mind stiff competition, but I want to make sure the hard facts are told. First and foremost, I love being a part of NASCAR and have worked very hard to earn the privilege of competing in the Sprint Cup series.
"On Friday night Robby Gordon, who has a long history of issues in NASCAR, decided to ambush me in the garage area at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, completely unprovoked.
"Robby even confronted Joe Nemechek, my car owner, on pit road during Cup series qualifying, shoving him and telling him that he was looking for me and going to assault me.
"We have many witnesses, including a crew chief that signed a police report documenting the truth of his physical attack on me.
"Situations like this are not good for our sport. It's one thing if we were racing each other and I wrecked him or he wrecked me; that's an entirely different situation.
"It's very unfortunate that he chose to physically attack me to address his rage.
"Our fans, sponsors and NASCAR expect and deserve more from our competitors than this bullish, illegal behavior that was displayed by Robby against me."