Police: Father of ex-NASCAR racer Robby Gordon strangled wife, fatally shot self in California home

ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Police say the father of former auto racing star Robby Gordon strangled his wife before fatally shooting himself in their Southern California home.

Orange police Lt. Fred Lopez announced the cause of death Thursday in the apparent murder-suicide involving 68-year-old Robert Gordon and 57-year-old Sharon Gordon.

The couple is the father and stepmother of Robby Gordon, a former star in NASCAR and on other racing circuits.

Lopez says officers discovered the bodies in an upscale suburban neighborhood after receiving a 911 call Wednesday afternoon.

Auto racer Robby Gordon says his family is in shock and grieving the loss of his father and stepmother.  Gordon spoke briefly to reporters Thursday near the gated house where police discovered the bodies of the two. The former NASCAR star thanked the racing community for its support.

He said his father, a one-time off-road racer, instilled in him a passion for motorsports and competition.

Gordon says an event featuring his off-road racing team scheduled for this weekend in Orange County will go on as planned.

Police in the city of Orange say a rifle was found at the scene Wednesday.