ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Valvoline Dodge Charger) ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE WAY THINGS WORKED OUT WITH YOUR APPEAL? "I feel good about the points. The one thing you can't buy in this world -- I guess some people can buy them for the first five races --...
ROBBY GORDON (No. 7 Valvoline Dodge Charger)
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE WAY THINGS WORKED OUT WITH YOUR APPEAL? "I feel good about the points. The one thing you can't buy in this world -- I guess some people can buy them for the first five races -- are NASCAR points and time. The money, we'll figure out how to work through that side of it. The points are what's important to us. The biggest thing that I still stand by is we didn't do anything wrong. Somebody made a mistake a delivered us a wrong nose. We believed it was a certified part because of the 2008 rulebook, blah, blah, blah. It was a complete surprise to us when we showed up in Daytona."
WHAT WAS THE KEY TO CONVINCING THE COMMISSION? "The word we've gotten good with is 'intent.' We're not just getting good with it, it's the truth. There was no intent to gain a competitive advantage, no intent of anything. It did fit all templates, including the identity template fit as well. It fit them all when we put them on at the shop. There was no intent when we put them on. I think that intent was a big part (of the appeal) and the fact we didn't take a pre-certified part and modify it. We took a part that was given to us by the manufacturer who is really responsible to make sure the parts are certified. It's not the teams. They (Dodge) present it to NASCAR. The rule is written if you take a certified part and modify it and then go, that's what that rule is for. That was the rule that stood out. That rule didn't apply to the (No.) 7 car in this circumstance."
HAVE YOU TALKED TO DODGE ABOUT THEM PAYING THE FINE? "We haven't got to that level yet. The biggest thing we worried about are the points. Now that we've got those back, we're 50 points out of 12th. That's our focus right now. If you run in the top-12, the money will come."
ARE THERE SYSTEMS IN PLACE AT ROBBY GORDON MOTORSPORTS TO MAKE SURE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN? "Yes, not only our team but Hendrick's team and everyone else. Wow, these guys aren't jacking around. We got them back, but trust me there was a lot of effort to get them back when we could have been using that towards selling sponsorships or making our race car faster or being better organized. There was three weeks put into how we were going to get out of this. There are certain things you don't go and appeal. This is the first time I've ever gone and appealed something at NASCAR in the eight or nine years I've been participating in NASCAR."
WHAT WAS THE APPEAL LIKE? "It was one at a time, all the parties you bring in. If you went in and two guys had different stories, it wouldn't help. Because you are one at a time, you don't know what the guy before you said. Even though he's on your team, you don't know what he said."
IS THE PROCESS FAIR? "Yes, I'm pleased. On the other side, you look at the money and now we're the highest contributor to NASCAR Foundation at this time of day. It goes for a good cause."
WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE WAY YOUR FAN BASE RESPONDED? "It's great we have the fans we have. That's why all of us have sponsors and it's why NASCAR is what it is. You appreciate the fans getting involved. At the same time, sometimes they get involved the other way and they keep pounding you. I'm already down and they keep beating me. This is the first time we've had a lot of real support."
DOES THIS MEAN YOU WON'T ATTEMPT THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 THIS YEAR? "It was more of a fact if we're on the outside of the top 35, we really weren't going to have a shot at making the Chase in 2008, we needed to do something big. Let's go try to win Indy or something. That's the pure racer coming out in me that wants to succeed. That deal is off."
-credit: dodge motorsports