By admin | August 3, 2009
By Richard Allen
Robby Gordon seemed to be having a pretty decent run in the Pennsylvania 500 until lap 149. On that lap he spun and made contact with the outside retaining wall. His car was damaged, but not so much that he couldn’t continue.
The car’s damage was slight, but the driver’s anger level was great. The object of his scorn was the driver of car #12, David Stremme.
As Gordon wheeled his #7 Toyota toward his waiting crew he was heard to threaten revenge upon Stremme. His radio transmission was broadcast to a nationwide audience over ESPN television.
Once the race was restarted, ESPN wisely focused one of their cameras on the combative duo. And predictably, there was more trouble between the foes. However, things did not work out quite to plan for Gordon.
He was able to track down the #12 car and as they exited turn-1 he began the not-so-subtle task of sending a message. He bumped Stremme’s Dodge several times as they raced down the Long Pond straightaway on the 2.5 triangular track. Gordon apparently got control of his anger and seemed to be willing to let it go at that, rather than blatantly take Stremme out.
However, Stremme looked as if he decided to amp up the confrontation. As the cars drove through turn-2 he pulled to the low side of the track and allowed Gordon to pull alongside. At the exit of the corner his car veered over and clipped the rear of Gordon’s machine. The tap sent Gordon spinning wildly into the infield.
That was not a good result for a guy who had just moments before vowed to wreck his opponent, and was in position to do so.
To rub salt in the wound, Gordon was penalized five laps for ‘attempting to be aggressive’ which must be some new penalty that was just created on lap 156 of the Pennsylvania 500. A five lap penalty for getting wrecked twice makes for a really bad day.
Stremme was penalized five laps for not only attempting to be aggressive, but succeeding in the endeavor. That seems more like something to be penalized for.
Stremme wound up 32nd in the race while Gordon received a hard luck 33rd for his efforts.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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