Robby Gordon says he can’t believe it. The former NASCAR driver, visibly distraught, spoke to reporters Thursday afternoon outside the home where hours before police had found the bodies of his father and stepmother.
Late Wednesday police responded to the Orange County California home after a 911 call from a neighbor. That neighbor had been asked to check on the home owned by Gordon and occupied by his father and stepmother. Police found the bodies of Robert Gordon, 68, and Sharon Gordon, 57. Police have not determined a cause of death but said a rifle was found in the home.
“I would like to thank the racing community,” Robby Gordon told media gathered outside the gated house as he choked back tears. “I’m so sad and I can’t believe it.”
“I’d like everybody to understand that this is very, very tough, and it’s not only tough for me, but it’s tough for my sisters Robyn, Beccy and my sister, which is Sharon’s daughter, Hailey,” he said. “It’s going to be tough on all of us.”
Gordon said he had given his home to his father and stepmother to live when he moved to North Carolina to be a NASCAR racer. During his NASCAR career, which began in 1991, Gordon made 396 Cup starts for such teams as Robert Yates Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and his own team Robby Gordon Motorsports. He has three wins in a Cup career that ended after three starts in 2012.
“I grew up on this property my whole life. I learned everything about motorsports out of this little tiny barn over here,” he said.
The younger Gordon helped start the Speed-Energy Formula Off-Road series in 2013 and continues to compete in that series as well as various off-road events. Known as “Baja Bob,” Robert Gordon was also an accomplished off-road racer. Robby said it was his father who created a passion for auto racing and competition.
“He taught me at a young age that 1 horsepower wasn’t going to be enough,” Gordon said.
Neighbor Greg Saunders told local media that the elder Gordons were well known in the neighborhood and that Robert Gordon had a horse feed business and would regularly drop hay off at neighbors’ homes. He added that his wife worked out at the gym with Sharon Gordon, and that they were friends.
“The guy was so down to earth. He just delivered hay for all the people for their horses, you know, real nice guy,” Saunders said.
The Orange County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Department said late Thursday evening that the deaths were a result of a murder-suicide. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Sharon Gordon was strangled to death and Robert Gordon died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Robby said he would speak about the deaths again once authorities conclude their investigation.
“The truth will come out, what went down here,” he said.
Robby Gordon has two sisters, Robyn and Becca, as well as a stepsister Hailey. Beccy Gordon Hunter-Reay, is an off-road racer as well. Her husband, Ryan Hunter-Reay, is a professional racecar driver and won the Indianapolis 500 in 2014.