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And Robby Gordon?

  Not a good sign: Robby Gordon, at mile marker 221 of the Baja 500, is under his Hummer repairing the transmission. Maybe all NASCAR drivers ought to have do their own repair work....(Photo: PlanetRobby)

   By Mike Mulhern

   POCONO, Pa.
   From the Times-Are-Tough-All-Over Dept.:
   Check out the NASCAR garage here and find out just how many Cup teams are racing this weekend essentially unsponsored (despite what decals might be on the car).
   More pointedly: How many Top-20 NASCAR Cup teams are racing this weekend essentially unsponsored? More than you might think, and some big names, it seems.
   Even four-time champion Jeff Gordon has been griping lately about sponsorship problems for 2011, with questions about just what long-time sponsor DuPont might be doing next season. Word on the street is that DuPont will be back with Gordon next season but perhaps only as full-car sponsor for about 12 races, rather than the full 36. No word yet on what sponsors might fill any void.
   That's at the top end of the NASCAR garage. How about the other end?
   Does anyone else find it odd that the other Gordon, owner-driver Robby Gordon, who is struggling to keep his NASCAR career going, despite sponsorship woes, was knocked out of Sunday's Pocono 500 by start-and-parkers?
   Of course Gordon doesn't have much constituency here to stand up for him....
   Maybe it was R. Gordon's fault, for being in the Baja, running the annual summer 500 (he finished 13th or 14th), instead of up here trying to get his Sprint Cup car in this field.
   Maybe Ted Musgrave, R. Gordon's relief driver here, is just too rusty. Yes, Musgrave has been a stand-out Truck racer for years, and a Cup veteran before that. But he apparently hasn't been in a Cup car since 2003. But then R. Gordon's options were limited, with Trucks racing down in Fort Worth this weekend, and Nationwide in Nashville.
   Maybe it was R. Gordon's fault for not being in the top-35...
   Wait a minute: Owner-driver Gordon is 34th in the driver standings, and he had made all 13 races, up till now. So why is he 36th in owner points – which happens to be the NASCAR standard for getting a bye into a race, being top-35 in owner points?
   Because other car owners have mixed up drivers in order to get more owner points than R. Gordon.
   Uh, isn't that, well, just wrong?
   It may well be NASCAR-legal of course, but it does seem to run counter to the spirit of this sport.
   Point of debate.
   Gordon himself sent a short statement: "While I am in Ensenada...the team was in Pocono preparing for this weekend's Cup race. I want to personally thank Ted Musgrave for his help practicing and attempting to qualify our Cup car, as well as our team members for their hard work. Despite missing the race, Ted and team made a valiant effort to get into the race.
    "I believe that all successful companies go through times like this – they have highs and lows. I remember Penske Racing missing the Indy 500 with three cars in 1995 and Paul Tracy just last month. We will recover from this just like Penske did, and we will be stronger because of it.
    "While I am disappointed that we will not participate at Pocono Raceway, I want to thank our employees for their hard work and our sponsors for their continued support. What remains through all of this is Robby Gordon Motorsports' commitment to the success of our diversified racing programs."
   Gordon himself hasn't qualified any better than 26th (at Darlington) this season, and his best finish was a 14th at Phoenix. This DNQ will drop him further out of the top-35.
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   Robby Gordon: It's ruthless at the back of the NASCAR garage...and some of the guys at the front are struggling for sponsorship too (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

After watching the ARCA race

After watching the ARCA race You have to wonder about budgets. The Arca cars are fast and competitive without big budgets. People like the Kimmels, the Venturinis and Gerhart have made a family living for years racing what are by Nascar terms , unsponsored cars. What do they know that Jack Roush doesn't?

If all the big sponsors left Nascar, what would the racing be like? Judging by Arca, it would be fast and exciting.

John McManus

It would also be of zero

It would also be of zero competitive depth - 4/5ths of an ARCA field consists of teams so cash-strapped they amount to start-and-park cars.

This is the mixed bag of the money that the Winston Cup level has enjoyed - it's created a lot of problems but it's also improved competitive depth.

Speaking of Jeff Gordon, it

Speaking of Jeff Gordon, it is interesting that he and Ambrose swapped rides this past week during the tire test as Watkins Glen. Didn't Jr hop into the Hendrick car a few years ago for a few laps while still with DEI as a replacement after a race incident and then lo and behold not long afterwards there was the announcement that Jr was on his way to Hendrick. I'm not saying necessarily that Jeff Gordon is on his way to MWR however Jeff certainly isn't a happy camper right now with sponsorship, on track performance, and team mate problems at Hendrick. So does Kahne goes into the 24 with Gordon ending up at MWR with Bud sponsorship.

Robby Gordon deserves to miss

Robby Gordon deserves to miss the race. He is the most ungrateful owner/driver in the NASCAR garage. He works his employees for 30+ hours straight without a thank you or any kind of appreciation. His quote one day that I heard with my own ears was "I don't care if you have families to go home to. All I care about is that you work on my race cars." He shouldn't get any pity from anyone.

Hey Anonymous, how is that

Hey Anonymous, how is that different from anyone else in racing? Have you ever heard of a Winston Cup-level team where the owner didn't require 30-plus hours of work from the crew? I sure haven't, not in the two-plus decades I've followed this sport.

There are still an estimated

There are still an estimated 300-400 former nascar employees without jobs from 2008 when Nascar faced a sponsership crash and teams were forced to lay off employees..........I don't think anybody at Robby Gorddon Mortorsports is complaining about having to work to much.

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