Robby Gordon announced Friday afternoon at Bristol that he has no plans of giving Danica Patrick the No. 7 when she enters the Sprint Cup Series next season driving for Stewart Haas Racing. Patrick expressed an interest in trying to keep the No. 7 because she’s had the number throughout her motorsports career. When Gordon was asked why he wouldn’t give up the No. 7, he replied, “C’mon, why would I?”
Gordon has built his team around the No. 7 for the last six seasons. Gordon said, “It’s all fun and games but I think she should be proud to have the No. 77.”
The No.77 could be one possibility because it is available and hasn’t been in use since the end of 2010, when Sam Hornish Jr drove for Penske Racing.
A member of the media joked with Gordon, asking if Gordon was offered a million dollars would he give Patrick the No. 7. Gordon jokingly replied, “A million dollars? You promise? And they’ll put SPEED Energy on the side of their car? And Danica will wear a SPEED hat every week?”
This isn’t the first time a driver doubled up on a former number to a new one. Dale Earnhardt Jr, Patrick’s Nationwide Series team owner, went from the No. 8 to the No. 88 after he moved to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008 because Dale Earnhardt Inc and his stepmother Teresa Earnhardt would not part with the number.
Gordon is a respected veteran in the Sprint Cup Series and he is one of the few remaining owner-drivers in the series. I applaud him for not wanting to give up his number. He’s built his business around that number. Why should he give it up to a “Rookie?” Whether or not Patrick changes her number, people will still continue to buy her merchandise.