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Thread: Gordon not fined for skipping Victory Lane

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    That's all folks! Unklescott's Avatar
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    Gordon not fined for skipping Victory Lane

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR issued a statement Wednesday acknowledging the importance of emotion and spontaneity in post-race victory celebrations, as it declined to sanction either Jeff Gordon or his Hendrick Motorsports team for their post-race behavior last Sunday at Indianapolis.

    NASCAR president Mike Helton stopped short of issuing a different protocol than the instructions delivered in each pre-race drivers' and crew chiefs' meeting.

    The second- through fifth-place finishers are typically told to gather at a designated area on pit road for media interviews. The winner is simply instructed to take his car to Victory Lane -- with no instructions on a specific route or time frame in which to do it.

    In the latest in a series of post-race disagreements, Gordon, upon winning the Brickyard 400 last Sunday, stopped his car on the start/finish line and climbed onto his window sill to salute the roaring crowd.

    He then jumped to the track, where his crew mobbed him in celebration. NBC Sports, with a narrow window for its post-race coverage, went onto the racetrack to interview Gordon before the network had to go off the air.


    It was speculated that Gordon might be fined this week for not going to Victory Lane for the standard post-race process. His Hendrick teammate, Jimmie Johnson, was fined $10,000 following the race at Pocono for placing a Lowe's placard in front of a large Powerade bottle that was set atop his car.

    Gordon and his team owner, Rick Hendrick issued apologies Wednesday afternoon.

    "Sunday's Brickyard victory was one of the most special moments I've ever experienced in this sport," Hendrick said. "I really wanted to win that race and kiss the bricks to honor my father."
    Hendrick's father, Joseph R. "Papa Joe" Hendrick Jr. passed away July 14 at age 84.

    "It (Gordon's win) was an unbelievable feeling for all of us," Rick Hendrick said.

    "Nonetheless, I owe an explanation to the George family, along with everyone at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The celebration was emotional, and it was fun to acknowledge the fans like that, but it became obvious that we had unintentionally disrupted the speedway's program by not driving to Victory Lane after the checkered flag.

    "Speaking for everyone at Hendrick Motorsports, I personally called Mary Hulman George on Monday to apologize for any actions that may have been perceived as being disrespectful."

    Gordon, a California native, who grew up in Pittsboro, Ind., an Indianapolis suburb, concurred.

    "I can't adequately describe how emotional Sunday was," Gordon said. "When I got out of the car, it was my intention to get back in and drive to Victory Lane after waving to everyone in the stands


    "Our team certainly would not disrespect any procedures on purpose, and I truly apologize to everyone at the speedway for any problems we may have caused (but) it was a classic case of being caught up in the moment.

    "I plan to support NASCAR's Victory Lane protocol going forward."

    NASCAR president Mike Helton's statement indicated that would be a good idea, beginning this weekend at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York, a track at which Gordon has won four times.

    "We appreciate the apologies offered today by Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick," Helton said. "We recognize the elation and spontaneity that a win like Sunday's can produce, and we do not want to hinder the emotions of the moment.

    "We want our drivers and teams to show their emotions. It was clear that this victory was a particularly emotional one for Hendrick Motorsports, in light of the recent passing of Rick's father, Papa Joe Hendrick."

    Many statements in NASCAR's pre-race meetings are often taken as either a word to the wise, if not thinly veiled threats. Wednesday's statement was similar.

    "We know how important it is for our competitors to celebrate their victories and share their happiness with the fans," Helton said. "But we also want our competitors to be mindful of the importance of protocol involving Victory Lane, which is as much a part of racing as taking the checkered flag.

    "This situation is now behind us. Moving forward, we are confident all our teams will respect and respond appropriately to time-honored post-race protocol during their celebrations."
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    Honestly now, what do you think NASCAR would have done to Tony Stewart if he won the race and did that?

  2. #2
    FORT Fogey Muduh's Avatar
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    Well even if they'd fined Jeff's team, it probably would have been worth it for them to get to celebrate. And since, in my opinion, Jeff can do NO wrong, I'm cool with it.

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    FORT Fogey canadian_bunny's Avatar
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    I can see where excitement takes over when winning a race. I am glad Gordon and Hendrick apologized for not doing proper protocol, and I hope in the future they remember to stick by the rules. I am not a Gordon fan, but winning a race, he was excited and was celebrating his win. So I am sure there was no intention of not abiding by proper procedures after the race. I would think any other driver probably would had done the same, besides NASCAR has too many rules and it wouldnt hurt them to bend a few.

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    Premium Member glennajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unk
    Honestly now, what do you think NASCAR would have done to Tony Stewart if he won the race and did that?
    Tony definitely would have gotten fined, because in NASCAR's eyes, Tony is a trouble maker. Gordon, however, has a clean slate. Therefore, no fine.

    I don't think the celebration was any big deal. It was nice to hear the fans cheering for Gordon for once instead of the "boos" that we usually hear when he wins.

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    Swinging in the hammock Ilikai's Avatar
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    Its a crying shame when a driver has to worry about saluting the crowd when he wins an important race because NASCAR has been governing with its head up its ass this year. Helton is making this racing body a laughing stock! And the hell with NBC, bring back ESPN, they had the best coverage and the best announcers for the longest time, then it gets popular, the yuppies like stock cars, and its been downhills since then. The prices of tickets at Daytona kept going up five bucks every year so that I was paying 50 bucks to sit in the lowest section crammed together like sardines. I finally said the hell with seeing the 500 in person, I will stay home and be comfortable.
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    FORT Fogey veejer's Avatar
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    Jeff's victory celebration was the best one I've seen in a long time. Usually they are so canned!!!

    If football broadcasts can put virtual yellow lines on the field, why not put a silly little Powerade logo up in the corner of the screen during the victory celebration. Still probably going to annoy those that are sponsored by Pepsi, but maybe Pepsi will bid more next season.
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    FORT Fogey canadian_bunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennajo
    Tony definitely would have gotten fined, because in NASCAR's eyes, Tony is a trouble maker. Gordon, however, has a clean slate. Therefore, no fine.

    I don't think the celebration was any big deal. It was nice to hear the fans cheering for Gordon for once instead of the "boos" that we usually hear when he wins.

    I dont think Tony would had apologized if he had done what Gordon did. That may had a part with Gordon not being fined.. in the fact he got caught up in the moment, which would be normal, and was excited about his win.. and even after that apologizing for not going to victory lane. Tony's attitude in racing has really caused him to lose fans. I know he did me, because I didnt like the way he was behaving toward the other drivers.

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    Premium Member glennajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canadian_bunny
    I dont think Tony would had apologized if he had done what Gordon did.
    You're probably right. I used to think Tony's rebellious attitude was kind of cool. Now I'm thinking more and more that he has some anger issues. (Brian Vickers)

    I do think he is unfairly criticized sometimes, though. Like when he rear-ended Kahne on the restart a few weeks ago. That really seemed like a mistake, imo. All of a sudden everyone is acting like every move he makes is with intention to hurt someone.

    In the past drivers made more aggressive moves on the racetrack, i.e, Earnhardt. Back then it was just considered "racing". Today it seems that any aggressive move toward another car is considered bad sportsmanship. Bring back the old racing, imo, much more interesting to watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by veejer
    If football broadcasts can put virtual yellow lines on the field, why not put a silly little Powerade logo up in the corner of the screen during the victory celebration.
    Good thinking, veejer. I don't know why PowerAde is put on the car anyway. I know they're a sponsor of NASCAR, but so are a lot of other people. The logo on screen is a much better idea.

  9. #9
    FORT Fogey canadian_bunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennajo
    I do think he is unfairly criticized sometimes, though. Like when he rear-ended Kahne on the restart a few weeks ago. That really seemed like a mistake, imo. All of a sudden everyone is acting like every move he makes is with intention to hurt someone.
    I agree. I think with the way he has acted though, they are watching his every move. He really needs to take some classes on Anger Managment. Being on the racetrack is not the place to lose your cool.


    In the past drivers made more aggressive moves on the racetrack, i.e, Earnhardt. Back then it was just considered "racing". Today it seems that any aggressive move toward another car is considered bad sportsmanship. Bring back the old racing, imo, much more interesting to watch.
    Earnhardt, Gordon, Wallace used to be real aggressive and everyone enjoyed it. NASCAR has really governed the sport to now its just not any fun any more. I am like you bring back the old racing. It was more fun, and tempers didnt flare so bad.... or maybe I just never noticed if they did.

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    FORT Fogey joeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennajo
    Good thinking, veejer. I don't know why PowerAde is put on the car anyway. I know they're a sponsor of NASCAR, but so are a lot of other people. The logo on screen is a much better idea.

    the victory circle is sponcered by Powerade, thats why they put the darn bottle on the cars, basically nascar sold the name of victory/winners circle to a sponcer, so it victory circle by powerade. I think its the dumbeset idea they have come up with yet, but i think your right, stick the damn logo up on the screen so you don't get these car sponcership conflicts going. or....when the driver is doing the interview have them comment on how powerade is not a sponcer of the car just the winners circle and thats the only reason its allowed ont he car.....

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