News & Media


Drivers upset with Gordon shouldn't bother to call

May 13, 2011, Mark Aumann, NASCAR.com

DOVER, Del. -- Wonders why anyone would reach out when no real repentance is involved

It has nothing to do with phone etiquette but when It comes to racing incidents, Jeff Gordon gives a new twist to the phrase "don't call us, we'll call you."

The current code of conduct for drivers involved in on-track confrontations is to dial each other up later and talk about it during the week. Gordon was asked Friday at Dover International Speedway if he remembered getting phone calls from other drivers when he first started in NASCAR.

"When I was coming up, we didn't call one another," Gordon said. "We didn't say anything. We went to the next race and we either confronted it at the time or confronted it the next week or two weeks later. The whole calling thing is strange to me."

"Let's say somebody wrecks me and somebody calls me on Tuesday, they're calling me so I don't wreck them the next week. They're not calling me because they really believe that we should have a conversation. "

--JEFF GORDON

And it's not because Gordon is a touch-tone landline guy stuck in a 4G wireless world. He just doesn't see the point.

"Nobody had my phone number my first five or six years in this sport," Gordon said. "Nobody had my phone number and I didn't have their phone number so we didn't call one another."

With the advent of social media, Gordon said the ability to communicate with another driver is even more effortless and for him, less desirable.

"Everybody has Twitter so you can reach out to them on Twitter these days," Gordon said. "All of the sudden, I get in a wreck with somebody and all of the sudden they're calling me and I don't know the number and I check my voicemail and it's somebody that says, 'Oh, I got your number from such and such through such and such through such and such and wanted to give you a call.'

"It's not a bad idea to reach out to them, but I just don't take the call, I don't call them back. I don't call guys."

Even now, Gordon questions why anyone would go to the trouble of calling when the majority of the time, there's no repentance involved.

"Let's say somebody wrecks me and somebody calls me on Tuesday, they're calling me so I don't wreck them the next week," Gordon said. "They're not calling me because they really believe that we should have a conversation.

"I don't want you to call me. If I call you, you should be thinking the same thing."

Gordon gave two reasons for his silent stance against modern technology.

"One is I prefer them to wonder if I'm ever going to get them back," Gordon said. "Then at the same time, usually I forget about it and move on and we go racing and we don't worry about it. I don't let it linger. To me, having a conversation on Tuesday or Wednesday of that week doesn't seem to resolve a whole lot."

But Gordon admitted he has succumbed to the temptation to reach out and touch someone at least once.

"The only guy that I really reached out to and called was Martin Truex Jr.," Gordon said, "and that's because I completely screwed that up. At Sonoma, I just made a bonehead move watching my mirror because Juan Pablo [Montoya] was making a diving move in on me and I ran over the top of [Truex].

"I felt really bad about that. I called him. But if it's a racing incident and we're racing hard or whatever [and] something happens, I don't call them."