By Brody Jones
When you think of big-name Las Vegas prize-fights, you usually imagine such encouters at the Bellagio, the MGM Grand, or the Thomas & Mack Center… not the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But Friday in the garage area at the track, the animosity between Robby Gordon and 2010 Raybestos Rookie Of The Year Kevin Conway allegedly came to a head, with Conway claiming that things became “physical” and that he has filed a police report on the incident. While no one from NASCAR has confirmed that the incident even took place, apparently a poster on the popular NASCAR web-site TheHotLap.com’s message board confirmed that the encounter did, in fact, take place with Gordon, according to the message board poster, slapping Conway around and throwing a punch at him before it was broken up by various parties.
One can only surmise that this incident stems from the legal squabbles between Robby Gordon and Conway, along with his sponsor Extenze. Gordon has sued Extenze in the state of California while Conway has sued Gordon in North Carolina. Gordon stated Saturday that Conway was suing for $27,000 for winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie Of The Year award. Defiantly, Gordon has stated that he would pay Conway when he got the $690,000 from Extenze over the time-frame that Conway drove for Gordon and that Extenze allegedly failed to compensate Gordon for the races agreed upon in the contract. Thus, Robby’s solution to the problem was allegedly getting into a Stewie Griffin-esque “Where’s My Money, Man?” type of beat-down. Though, to be honest, it’s not clear who really has the bigger black eye in this alleged encounter. Is it Robby for allegedly bullying Conway into a confrontation or is it Conway and Extenze for allegedly not paying Robby (or allegedly Front Row Motorsports, for that matter)?
This is not the first time Robby has thrown-down with someone. He got into a shoving match with Tony Stewart at Daytona in 2000 and he’s thrown a helmet at Michael Waltrip’s car at Loudon in 2005, subsequently dropping an “s-bomb” on national television, so it’s not all that surprising that Robby could be linked to an alleged altercation with another driver. Conway, on the other hand, is mildly surprising. The Richmond, Virginia native has been perceived to be a bit more laid-back in the garage area, so it comes as a shock that anyone would get in a fight with him. But if someone allegedly owed me close to three-quarters of a million dollars, I might be tempted to hit them too. But the difference between Robby Gordon and this journalist is out of sheer professionalism that I am expected to maintain at all times, I would refrain from landing a right-cross to someone who allegedly owed me money. Gordon is a professional too, but that has not stopped him from acting unprofessionally in the past. This time, however, it may have finally caught up to him as Conway has filed a police report and if this leads to criminal charges, the court of public opinion will not be in Robby’s favor.
I, however, have a solution for Bruton Smith and the track promoters at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If Gordon and Conway are still engaged in these legal squabbles by this time next year, why not just transport a boxing ring in the infield in the pre-race ceremonies, complete with Vegas show-girls holding up the round number placards and let Gordon and Conway duke it out, mano y mano in the ring. Better yet, let’s get Michael Buffer to do pre-fight introductions! If NASCAR truly wants to have their drivers “have at it”, let them go at it in a boxing ring! That would blow the Bristol Food City Family Race Night Wii Boxing Drivers tournament right out of the water! But, since we live in a sue-happy society, that probably won’t ever happen. But hey, it would be fun to dream about it, now wouldn’t it?