By admin | November 15, 2009
By Richard Allen
In the past few days a great deal of attention has been paid to the fact that JR Motorsports may or may not be able to find enough sponsorship to support that team’s effort to bring Dancia Patrick to the Nationwide Series of NASCAR.
Receiving a bit less attention has been the fact that Robby Gordon Motorsports may be forced to significantly reduce their schedule in 2010. As of now, RGM only has enough backing to compete in eight NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
While Patrick, the much talked about female IndyCar driver, would garner much media attention if she were to come to NASCAR, Robby Gordon’s participation may be more important because of the need to actually have cars racing in the sport’s top division.
Gordon has campaigned fulltime in the Sprint Cup division since 2002. He has served as his own boss with his own team since 2006.
It is this very type of team that NASCAR needs. Gordon represents a dying breed of men who are willing to go their own way, work hard and take risks for the betterment of the sport of racing. The sanctioning body would be well served in the long run to help teams such this to land sponsors, even if it meant giving up one of their own backers.
NASCAR has shown no interest in reducing the number of cars to start a race from 43 so keeping teams like this alive is vital.
However, with all the hype surrounding Patrick it is almost a certainty that every possible effort will be made to land her in a NASCAR ride next year. NASCAR as an organization has shown an unquenchable desire to chase after glitz and glamour over substance. They have demonstrated this in their choices of racing venues, marketing campaigns, playoff systems and rule changes. So, why would this situation be any different?
The bottom line will ultimately boil down to the fact that NASCAR needs Robby Gordon and more of his type, guys who race because they love it and have made it their lives. However, NASCAR wants Danica Patrick because she will provide a quick media pop, which is what the suits in charge of this sport seemingly crave.
Danica Patrick will come and go, just wait and see. The question is, what will be left behind when she is gone and so is Robby Gordon and the others like him?
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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