Conway says he was 'ambushed'
NASCAR driver Kevin Conway, speaking publicly for the first time about the incident, says he was “ambushed” and “physically attacked” by fellow driver Robby Gordon last weekend in Las Vegas.
The incident, which allegedly happened in the garage area at Las Vegas Motor Speedway about 5 p.m. Friday, led Conway to file a police report and NASCAR to place Gordon on probation.
Conway declined to discuss the incident after it came to light, but Monday he released a statement because he wanted to ensure “the hard facts are told,” he said.
Conway filed a misdemeanor battery complain Saturday after the alleged incident, Las Vegas police Officer Barbara Morgan told The Associated Press. Later, Gordon was placed on probation until the end of 2011 by NASCAR officials, who did not witness the incident. Conway reported the run-in to NASCAR, according to Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition.
Gordon’s only comment on his relationship with Conway came Friday, when he told FOXSports.com that "a heated argument" occurred between he and Conway "about a sponsor that didn't pay its bills," and "there were no punches thrown."
That contradicts Conway’s version of what transpired:
“On Friday night, Robby Gordon . . . decided to ambush me in the garage area at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, completely unprovoked. Robby even confronted Joe Nemechek, my car owner, on pit road during Cup series qualifying, shoving him and telling him that he was looking for me and going to assault me.
“We have many witnesses, including a crew chief that signed a police report documenting the truth of his physical attack on me,” Conway’s statement continued. “Situations like this are not good for our sport. It’s one thing if we were racing each other and I wrecked him or he wrecked me, that’s an entirely different situation. It’s very unfortunate that he chose to physically attack me to address his rage. Our fans, sponsors and NASCAR expect and deserve more from our competitors than this bullish, illegal behavior that was displayed by Robby against me.”
The drivers have a history of conflict. Conway briefly drove for Gordon in the Sprint Cup Series last year, and the drivers are now suing each other over financial aspects of that deal, according to SceneDaily.com. Gordon sued Conway sponsor Extenze in California court for $690,000 for the six races Conway drove for his team.