Friday, August 26, 2011
Robby Gordon keeping No. 7
By David Newton
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Robby Gordon says he won't give Danica Patrick the No. 7 when she enters the Sprint Cup series part-time next season.
"C'mon!'' Gordon said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "Why would I?''
Patrick said on Thursday, when officially announcing plans to leave the IndyCar Series to drive a fulltime Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports and part-time Cup schedule for Stewart Haas Racing in 2012, that she'd like to keep the No. 7 that she's had throughout her motorsports career.
Gordon, who has had the number for six years in Cup, isn't willing to bargain.
Asked if he would change his mind if offered $1 million -- which by the way isn't likely to happen -- Gordon jokingly said, "A million dollars? You promise? And they'll put SPEED Energy on the side of the car? And Danica will wear a SPEED hat every week?''
SPEED Energy is the energy drink created by Gordon.
"'I've built my business around the No. 7,'' Gordon said. "It's all fun and games, but I think she should be proud to drive the No. 77.''
The 77 could be available. It hasn't been used for a full Cup schedule since Sam Hornish Jr. lost his ride at Penske Racing after the 2010 season.
It also wouldn't be the first time a driver doubled up on a former number for a new one. Dale Earnhardt Jr. went to the No. 88 when he couldn't get the No. 8 from Dale Earnhardt Inc. after he moved to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008.
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.