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Definitely More Patient OFF the Track!

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Robby Gordon

Definitely More Patient OFF the Track!

Jeremy T. Sellers
Jerm's Joint
March 16, 2007

We were just a tad road-weary as my brother and I had traveled over an hour to get to the new Menard's store in Marion, Ohio.  Other than a transporter parked in the lot, it appeared relatively empty for such a big event in a small town.  However we found that we had timed it just right when we finally found the beginning of the line for a Robby Gordon autograph. He was signing from 6-8 PM and we were somewhere between 50th-60th in line at 5:30 PM...he was only signing 400.

As most drivers, he was fashionably late, sitting down at 6:12 PM, whipping out the Sharpie's and went to work.  One would think that being as close as we were out of the line that now wrapped completely around the interior of the mammoth store, we would be in and out.  Granted, we were growing impatient, but we couldn't complain about what we were seeing.  Robby took time out to pose with anyone who wanted, making small talk with everyone who stepped up, and even stopped for a family shot, holding a small baby in his arms, making jokes about how calm the child was.  I've been to a lot of signings, and I have to tell the racing fan community, that Robby Gordon, took the most time to spend with his fans than any driver I've encountered.  Known for his aggressive and controversial style of driving on the track, he's more than tolerant off.

Finally, it was our turn to have Robby sign our Jim Beam hats, and the usual hero cards (he insisted that every one had a signed card from last year (the Chevy days, and this year, the Fusion days).  He was signing anything you put in front of him with a smile.  I asked him to give me the "scivvy" about the Car of Tomorrow.  Briefly pausing, he took a deep breath, and sighed, "C.O.T." he continued, "Man, you know, we tested at Bristol..." (then he named a small track I cannot recall that isn't on the circuit) "...and I can't get that thing to turn left in a 40 acre field.  It's tight every time I turn the wheel.  BUT we'll figure it out in the next couple weeks."  Now, that may not seem like a lot to some fans.  In my experience, most of the drivers want to sign and move on.  He even told us to check out the 15 show car and the 88 show truck they brought along as well as the Menard's Indy car.  Being where we were in line, we finally left his graces at 6:50 PM.  I don't think everyone in line was going to get their autograph *wink*.

This article was originally posted on the Yahoo! Group NASCAR World Order



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