Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - NASCAR penalized Jeff Gordon with a loss
of 25 points and a fine of $100,000 for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer
during Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
According to release from NASCAR on Monday, Gordon was found to be in
violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing --
altercation with another competitor on the race track during the race). He was
also placed on probation until Dec. 31.
Gordon avoided suspension for the incident, which led to a brawl between
Gordon and Bowyer's team in the garage area at Phoenix. The four-time Cup
Series champion will compete in next Sunday's season-ending race at Homestead-
"I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack," Gordon said in a team
statement. "I accept NASCAR's decision and look forward to ending the season
on a high note at Homestead."
Alan Gustafson, the crew chief for Gordon's No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports
Chevrolet, received probation for the remainder of the year as well. Gustafson
was found to be in violation of Section 9-4A (at all events, crew chief
assumes responsibility of his driver, car owner and team members). Team owner
Rick Hendrick was docked 25 championship owner points.
"I've always respected Jeff for standing his ground," Hendrick said. "We also
respect that NASCAR needs to police the sport and send a message when
situations like this occur. It's been a great year, and we're going to put our
focus on finishing in a positive way this weekend."
Brian Pattie, the crew chief for Bowyer's No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing
Toyota, was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until the end of the year
for his team's involvement in the fight. Members of Bowyer's crew attacked
Gordon after he got out of his car in the garage.
Earlier in the day, MWR issued a statement apologizing for the physical
The statement read, "The goal of Michael Waltrip Racing is to be a
championship-level organization both on and off the track. The on-track
incident which occurred during Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix
International Raceway was extremely disappointing and brought raw emotions of
a long and hard championship battle to the surface.
"Though we generally cannot control certain actions on the track, the
unfortunate reactions off the track Sunday did not live up to the professional
standards in which Michael Waltrip Racing expects all of its representatives
to live by. We commit to our sponsors, our manufacturer, our fans and NASCAR
that we will do so in the future."
As customary after any physical altercation during a race, officials had a sit
down with Bowyer and Gordon in the NASCAR hauler following the event. Several
security officers stood guard outside the hauler as the meeting took place.
The sanctioning body further reviewed the incident on Monday before issuing
"Following a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday's
race at Phoenix International Raceway, we have issued penalties based upon our
review," NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said. "The
decisions announced today cover NASCAR's full assessment of penalties for the
incidents that occurred.
"There's no doubt that a unique set of circumstances combined with a
championship battle on the line resulted in raw emotions coming into play. We
consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision
and we expect them to abide by them."
NASCAR also noted its release that Brad Keselowski, the driver of the No. 2
Penske Racing Dodge and the current points leader in the Chase for the Sprint
Cup championship, was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for
having a cell phone in his car while on the racetrack. Keselowski was using
the electronic device when NASCAR halted (red-flagged) the race following
Bowyer and Gordon's crash. He violated Sections 12-1 and 20-6.7A (cars and
drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic
recording devices, electronically actuated devices, power distribution
modules, power conditioners, micro-processors, recording devices, electronic
digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the
like, even if inoperable or incomplete).
Earlier this year, NASCAR implemented a rule banning drivers from having
electronic devices in their cars during competition.
Keselowski presently holds a 20-point advantage over Jimmie Johnson.
The Sports Network