2008 NASCAR Fantasy Draft Kit: Robby Gordon

An in-depth look at Robby Gordon and how he might work on your fantasy NASCAR team for 2008.

Robby Gordon the racer

The name Robby Gordon is a lightning rod in NASCAR circles. To many fans it means a reckless driver that can’t seem to stay out of the way. To others he is one of the best pure racecar drivers in motorsports. The truth is somewhere in the middle. One thing that sometimes goes unnoticed is how far he has come as a driver/owner.

His inaugural 2005 season was an utter disaster, but 2006 saw great improvement. This past year didn’t have the dramatic gains, but he did jump from 30th to 26th in the final point standings.

Robby Gordon the owner

While Gordon the racer is often controversial and inconsistent, Gordon the owner has enjoyed an impressive run. The move to Ford worked well. He went from an also-ran in the Chevy pecking order to one of four teams at Ford that all get support from Roush Racing. He only suffered one engine failure, a huge improvement from his two years with Chevy (11 blown engines). Another credit to Gordon the owner is how well he does in the sponsorship game. At a time when several large teams can’t keep all of their cars sponsored, Gordon has secured sponsors for his team. That is no longer a small detail. He also entered two cars at Watkins Glen showing signs that the company is nearing expansion (admittedly it was mostly a PR stunt featuring Marcos Ambrose). They are all signs that the company is in good shape for the long term.

Robby Gordon and the CoT

The Ford Racing alignment means he should get good support for the CoT. It will be interesting to see how a small operation like RGM does with the CoT. Building two fleets of cars really hurt the team in 2007, but now the team can consolidate its resources. Whether that effort will show up in 2008 or future years remains to be seen.

Robby Gordon at road courses

Gordon will be a favorite to win at road tracks no matter what type of car. He was the class of the field at Sonoma (110.9 driver rating) only to get shuffled back by fuel strategy. His aggressive style is not always popular with his competitors, but is exciting to watch from a fan’s perspective. The way he uses the entire road course, including the dirt, makes one wonder if Gordon should simply bring his Hummer H2 off-road car to Sonoma or The Glen.

Robby Gordon on other tracks

Aside from the obvious road course strength, Gordon has also enjoyed nice runs at places like Talladega, Dover and Loudon. He has good car control and is willing to try different race lines in hopes of speed. The dominant trait of Gordon is his aggressiveness. Squeezing his car into a tight spot sometimes gains him an extra spot or finds him the right line in the draft. It also can lead to worse consequences.

Robby Gordon the crasher

The major consequence of his aggressiveness is crashing. Gordon crashes. A lot. 16 incidents were second only to rookie David Ragan. Only one crash resulted in a DNF, but he had 13 finishes of 30th or worse, meaning he was turning a lot laps in a banged up car. This is the biggest opportunity for improvement.

You can also count on Gordon for at least one major incident during the season. To Gordon’s credit he likes variety in his clashes. From the ’05 Helmet Toss, Foamgate ’06 and who can forget his wild adventure in the Montreal Busch race. It’s not every day you see someone celebrate a black flag with a burnout. Amusing antics for fans, but they never help Gordon. Last year’s escapade cost him the Cup race at Pocono.

Robby Gordon for 2008

What does 2008 hold for Gordon the driver? The Chase is unrealistic, but he is capable of improving on his points finish. A few things have to happen first. He must reduce the number of crashes. The engines improved in 2007, now it’s time for Gordon to keep the car in one piece to take advantage of a strong engine program.

Gordon also must take the first step of securing his starting position. Toyota teams will all be stronger, meaning his guaranteed top 35 spot is under assault. Gordon has to get off to a solid start and build a points cushion. Once the car is safely in the top 35 he can turn up the aggressiveness.

There is quite a variance in how Gordon’s year might go down. The high end is a win, and three to four top tens with one top five as a reasonable expectation. He hasn’t won a race since 2003, but a win is always possible at the two road courses. The other scenario sees Gordon struggle at intermediate tracks and he hovers in the 30’s. Either option will be sure to include excitement and controversy. All in a day’s work for Gordon.

Robby Gordon 2007 NASCAR Season Statistics
Race Start Finish Pts Laps Status Winnings
Daytona 500 39th 15th 118 202/202 Running $268,475
Auto Club 500 42nd 21st 100 249/250 Running $90,700
UAW-Diamler Chrysler 400 38th 17th 112 266/267 Running $96,375
Kobalt Tools 500 39th 20th 103 324/325 Running $75,725
Food City 500 34th 33rd 64 493/504 Running $81,025
Goody’s Cool Orange 500 25th 34th 61 490/500 Running $66,575
Samsung 500 23rd 24th 96 332/334 Running $102,625
Subway Fresh Fit 500 38th 24th 91 310/312 Running $67,475
Aaron’s 499 38th 41st 40 33/192 Engine $76,800
Crown Royal 400 42nd 34th 61 378/400 Running $65,450
Dodge Avenger 500 33rd 38th 49 317/367 Running $68,025
Coca-Cola 600 35th 22nd 97 393/400 Running $92,375
Autism Speaks 400 33rd 10th 134 400/400 Running $97,675
Pocono 500 37th 41st 40 103/106 Running $61,180
Citizens Bank 400 30th 13th 124 199/200 Running $81,225
Toyota / Save Mart 350 2nd 16th 125 110/110 Running $92,900
Lenox Industrial Tools 300 16th 17th 112 300/300 Running $77,325
Pepsi 400 25th 15th 118 160/200 Running $98,000
USG Sheetrock 400 39th 36th 55 225/267 Running $79,150
Allstate 400 42nd 27th 82 157/160 Running $144,975
Centurion Boats at the Glen 29th 5th 155 90/90 Running $96,025
3M Peformance 400 30th 24th 96 202/200 Running $75,300
Sharpie 500 24th 20th 108 500/500 Running $95,975
Sharp AQUOS 500 35th 41st 40 159/250 Out of Race $85,705
Chevy Rock-n-Roll 400 39th 36th 55 335/400 Out of Race $64,825
Sylvania 300 40th 31st 70 297/300 Running $73,325
Dodge Dealers 400 41st 19th 106 397/400 Running $72,075
LifeLock 400 41st 19th 106 209/210 Running $89,750
UAW-Ford 500 24th 29th 81 161/188 Off Track $74,625
Bank of America 500 40th 38th 54 270/400 Running $61,700
Subway 500 39th 39th 46 390/506 Running $60,200
Pep Boys Auto 500 33rd 21st 100 328/325 Running $90,150
Dickies 500 41st 32nd 67 300/334 Running $96,025
Checker Auto Parts 500 39th 24th 91 312/312 Running $67,925
Ford 400 41st 27th 82 264/267 Running $67,350