Friday, November 13, 2009
Robby Gordon faces 8-race season
By David Newton
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Robby Gordon, who has run a full Sprint Cup schedule as a driver/owner since 2006, says he has enough sponsorship for only eight races in 2010.
"I'm looking at a lot of weekends off,'' a frustrated Gordon told ESPN.com on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.
Gordon said he has two four-race commitments from sponsors for next season. One of his major sponsors, Jim Beam, announced earlier in the year that it would not return to the sport.
"Nobody is spending money,'' Gordon said. "Everybody is cutting the fat out of everything. To be in racing you have to be a pretty big company.''
Gordon said many of the larger teams are making deals for well less than the market value because they can afford to, but that runs teams like his out of business.
"It's sponsorship suicide,'' said Gordon, who is 34th in points.
Gordon said NASCAR needs to create a unified marketing plan so every team is on a level playing field. He said there are so many different plans now that sponsors are confused.
He expects to see more start-and-park teams next season than ever, adding he doesn't plan to be one.
"I don't know what we're going to do,'' Gordon said. "We're going to continue to work hard to sell races through March of next year. After that I'm looking at a lot of weekends off.''
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.