Charlotte, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon was slapped with a $100,000 fine, docked 25 points and placed on probation for the remainder of the season Monday for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.
“Clint has run into me numerous times, wrecked me, and he got into me on the back straightaway and pretty much ruined our day,” Gordon said after the race. “I’ve had it, fed up with it, and I got him back.”
NASCAR, however, did not hit Gordon with a suspension, unlike what happened to Kyle Busch for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. in the Truck Series under caution last year.
“It’s pretty embarrassing for a four-time champion and what I consider one of the best this sport’s ever seen … to act like that is just completely ridiculous,” Bowyer said.
According to Bowyer and his spotter, Gordon waited on the track to wreck him after the two made contact earlier, cutting down one of Gordon’s tires.
When Bowyer came back around, Gordon slammed his car into the side of the No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, collecting Joey Logano’s car in the process.
Gordon explained that his response was an accumulation of frustration from incidents throughout the year, beginning when Bowyer wrecked him and teammate Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville.
The loss of points dropped Gordon to 11th in the standings. Only the top 10 in points are allowed to attend the champions’ banquet on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.
For his part, the incident left Bowyer with a 28th-place finish, eliminating him from contention for the championship with one race remaining.
NASCAR met with Gordon, Bowyer and others in the NASCAR hauler after the race to discuss what happened on the track and the ensuing fights that occurred between personnel from the two squads.
However, Bowyer didn’t rule out retaliating against Gordon in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“We’ll just have to see,” he said.
NASCAR also docked Rick Hendrick 25 owner points and Alan Gustafson was placed on probation for the remainder of the year under the rule that stipulates the crew chief is responsible for his driver and team members during a race event.
Bowyer’s crew chief, Brian Pattie, was fined $25,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31.
“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,” NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton said in a statement.
“We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them,” he added.