Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI Ford Fusion, was part of the weekly Nextel Wake-Up Call press conference at Lowe's Motor Speedway Friday afternoon. Gordon spoke about a variety of issues, including this weekend's all-star ...
Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 7 Menards/MAPEI Ford Fusion, was part of the weekly Nextel Wake-Up Call press conference at Lowe's Motor Speedway Friday afternoon. Gordon spoke about a variety of issues, including this weekend's all-star event.
ROBBY GORDON -- No. 7 Menards/MAPEI Ford Fusion
CAN YOU TELL EVERYONE WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT THE OFFER YOU HAVE ON THE TABLE IF YOU WIN THE NEXTEL FAN VOTE? "I came up with an idea a couple of weeks ago and I think Kyle came up with it a year ago and it's like, 'Hey, I'll just give my money away.' But then I started hearing a lot of other guys say, 'We'll give our money away, too.' But then I started thinking, 'They can't give their money away without asking their owner. They can only give 30 percent or 40 percent or 50 percent of their money away.' There's a pretty big difference there."
IS THERE AN ADVANTAGE TO RUNNING THE OPEN? WE HAVEN'T SEEN THAT PAY OFF AS MUCH AS YOU WOULD THINK. "I think Kasey finished last year. I think the series is just so competitive right now that if you can gain a little more track time it obviously helps us. Provided that we have good communication with the crew chief of what went on during that race, track time, it's already gonna be dark by that point, so it should be able to relay back to the all-star race as well."
THE MONEY FOR THE CHALLENGE IS BIG BUT NOT NEARLY AS BIG FOR THE OPEN. IF THIS RACE WERE TO EVER LEAVE CHARLOTTE, HOW HARD WOULD IT BE FOR A TEAM TO TRAVEL AND RUN THE OPEN? "Obviously, the money is a lot different. How do I say it, the money wouldn't even pay for the engine or the tires. It doesn't pay for it the way it is right now. I'm pretty sure my contracts don't require me to run the all-star race. As a matter of fact, I'm positive they don't, but we do it because it's here in Charlotte, it's easy to do and it's track experience that you can take into the Coca-Cola 600 the next weekend. As a matter of fact, I know all of my contracts are for the 36 Nextel Cup races."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TERRY LABONTE TESTING FOR THE BUSCH RACE IN MONTREAL? "I think Terry, that's probably the right thing, especially if he's not gonna run the race. Maybe he's gonna run the race, I don't know, but information is so important. We get such little information these days because of the testing that goes on -- the little information you're able to gather with the seven Nextel Cup tests and the tracks you can't go to and really gather any information for the cars that we have, it'll definitely help RCR for gears and stuff like that, but we've been road racing for years and you can look at how many feet their straightaways are and how sharp the corners are and pretty much nail the gear to within 50-100 RPM anyway."
DOES THE OPEN GET THE CREDIT IT DESERVES? "When you look at the guys in it, it's obviously competitive. You've got Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer and Montoya and Kenny (Wallace). The list is long of the guys that are in the Open. This series, you take the Hendrick cars out of the car of tomorrow deal, back on the mile-and-a-half tracks like this before, it was fairly competitive last year. There was 10 or 15 guys that could have won races on mile-and-a-half race tracks, and I think the car of tomorrow, even though the field is tighter, it's separated a little bit more. Those guys have dominated the first five events, but it's gonna be a tough race. It'll be exciting. Everybody will enter the Open or race the Open different than they'll race the All-Star Challenge because you have to use that car for the All-Star Challenge, so you have to make sure you have clean fenders on it and it's still aerodynamically sound. We've seen for years here them wrecking across the finish line for the win. If you wreck across the finish line for the win in the Open, all of the information you just learned is out the door, so why do that? So I don't think you're gonna see as exciting of a race in the Open as you will see in the All-Star Challenge because of that."
ON JEFF BURTON'S RISE AND BEING IN THE ALL-STAR CHALLENGE. "I think that shows how much a team has to do with the performance of an individual. One guy doesn't make a team perform."
-credit: ford racing