Robby Gordon Fined $35,000 By Nascar

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Robby Gordon avoided a lengthy suspension Tuesday when NASCAR fined him $35,000 and placed him on probation through the end of the year for his misconduct during the Busch Series race in Montreal.

The penalties came with the stipulation that Gordon will be suspended indefinitely if he disrupts another event this season or NASCAR deems his actions inappropriate.

Hours later, in a gesture he called a ``peace offering,'' Gordon said he would field a car for Marcos Ambrose in this weekend's Nextel Cup event at Watkins Glen. Gordon wrecked Ambrose in the closing laps of Saturday's race to deny him his first NASCAR victory.

``It's unfortunate that Marcos got put in a position in Montreal where I was thinking, 'OK, if I'm not going to win, he's not going to win,''' Gordon said in a statement.

Gordon protested a NASCAR ruling during late in Saturday's race, when he was ordered to surrender his second-place position and move back to 13th. He refused and was immediately disqualified.

Gordon then spun Ambrose, who was leading, and NASCAR ruled it was intentional. Gordon was ordered off the track immediately. He refused, completed the final two laps of the event and celebrated as if he were the winner by doing burnouts and pumping his fists in the air.

The celebration, and his lack of contrition in a post-race meeting with NASCAR, got him suspended from Sunday's Nextel Cup event at Pocono Raceway. Although Gordon believed he would be cleared to race this weekend on the road course at Watkins Glen, NASCAR officials said they still were reviewing his status.

Gordon is a strong contender to win both the Busch and Cup events at Watkins Glen.

Ambrose, meanwhile, will get to make his Nextel Cup debut in a joint effort between Gordon and Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, his current team. They had hoped to put Ambrose in the Cup race this weekend, but announced Monday they wouldn't be able to pull it off.

``I think he's a talented race-car driver, and obviously he has the ability to compete at the highest level,'' Gordon said. ``He showed that last weekend in the Busch race, and I felt that this opportunity would be a makeup.

``Unfortunately, we didn't get to finish the race the way either one of us wanted to finish it last weekend, and now we've got an opportunity to try to put on a good show again this weekend at Watkins Glen.''

Ambrose, an Australian, was pleased with the turn of events.

``Well, they say that America is the land of opportunity, and I guess this is proof of that,'' he said. ``A bit of old outback Australian culture involved playing a game of Australian football, having a fight and then heading to the pub together for a beer -- I guess this is a bit like that.''

Meanwhile, four other penalties also were issued Tuesday.

Charles ``Cully'' Barraclough, crew chief for Stephen Leicht, was fined $10,000, because divider pistons in both front shock absorbers were not installed to specifications. Car owner Robert Yates was docked 25 Busch Series points, as was Leicht.

Paul Wolfe, crew chief for Patrick Carpentier, was fined $5,000 because the front springs were not in compliance. Armando Fitz, owner of the car, lost 25 Busch Series points, as did Carpentier.

Chris Wright, crew chief for Bobby Hamilton Jr., was fined $2,000 for having unapproved jacking bolts. And Jeff Spraker, crew chief for Mike MacKenzie, was fined $2,000 for permitting a person without a proper NASCAR license into the car servicing area.


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