NASCAR Brokers Deal For Gordon Sponsor

Saturday, March 17th 2007, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) Robby Gordon will get to start Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a primary sponsor on his No. 7 Chevrolet after all.

Gordon, an owner/driver in the Cup series, showed up at the track Thursday with the logo of his Busch Series sponsor, Motorola, on his cup car. NASCAR immediately told Gordon that, because of the non-compete clause in its contract with telecommunications giant Sprint Nextel, which sponsors its premier series, he could not make the change.

But NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said a compromise was reached Saturday.

"We've worked with members of Robby's team to come up with a reasonable paint scheme solution for tomorrow's race," Hunter said. "When the team unloaded here this week, the car had a paint scheme on it that had yet to be approved. Due to the limited time frame, we worked with Robby and his team to come up with a non-wireless solution.

"He will therefore run in tomorrow's race an approved paint scheme carrying a digital audio player Motorola design on the car."

Hunter said Gordon will be allowed to use those logos for the rest of the Cup season.

Gordon was not available for comment.

This compromise came a day after another telecommunications giant, AT&T, sued NASCAR after racing series officials would not let the company put its logo on Jeff Burton's race car.

Burton's No. 31 car is sponsored by cell phone service provider Cingular, but AT&T recently took full ownership of Cingular as part of its recent merger with BellSouth and intends to eliminate the brand name.

The lawsuit calls altering the design of the No. 31 car an "integral part" of the company's brand name switch, and that NASCAR's refusal to allow it inhibits the company's ability to "attract new customers and retain existing ones."

"Our position remains that we don't comment on litigation," Hunter said.