Racing family stunned after ‘Baja’ Bob Gordon and his wife are found dead in apparent murder-suicide


Ryan Hunter-Reay said this week has brought a full range of emotions, with the birth of his third son coming only hours before he learned that his father-in-law was dead in an apparent murder-suicide.

The former Indianapolis 500 winner is married to Beccy Gordon, and the couple welcomed son Rhodes Maverick Hunter-Reay on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Not long afterward, they were informed that her father, former racer “Baja” Bob Gordon, had been found dead alongside his wife in their Orange home.

Police said Bob Gordon died of a gunshot wound and Sharon Gordon was strangled.


Hunter-Reay said the Gordon family wanted him to proceed to Sonoma Raceway in Northern California, where IndyCar concludes its season Sunday. His brother, NASCAR driver Robby Gordon, meanwhile, went ahead with his stadium super trucks event in Costa Mesa this weekend.

This is all around a family of racers. This is what makes our blood flow.

— Ryan Hunter-Reay

Said Hunter-Reay: “This is all around a family of racers. This is what makes our blood flow.”

Gordon, 68, and his wife, Sharon Gordon, 57, were discovered at 5 p.m. in the 1400 block of North Kennymead Street, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Sharon Gordon had been strangled to death and Robert Gordon died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Orange Police Department.

Outside the home Thursday, Robby Gordon fought back tears as he told reporters that he would explain what happened once the coroner says he can.

“The truth will come out what went down there,” he said.

Few details about the couple’s death have been released, but Orange Police Lt. Fred Lopez said family members asked a neighbor to check on the couple Wednesday because they couldn’t reach them. The neighbor entered the home and discovered the bodies.

Times staff writer Veronica Rocha contributed to this report.


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