Jeff Gordon has been fined a huge chunk of change for deliberately running into Clint Bowyer Sunday, causing both drivers to crash. The incident turned into a giant fight between crew members in the pit lanes.
NASCAR has fined Jeff Gordon $100,000 for intentionally causing Clint Bowyer to crash at Phoenix International Raceway, reports The Associated Press. Gordon will also be docked 25 points and will be put on probation.
Gordon intentionally wrecked Bowyer on the second-to-last lap of the race as a retaliatory move, NASCAR said. Earlier in the year, Bowyer had run into Gordon, causing a wreck that also involved Jimmy Johnson, reports USA Today. Earlier in Sunday's race at Phoenix, Bowyer had bumped into Gordon, which prompted Gordon to slow down and deliberately wreck Bowyer.
At the beginning of the race, Bowyer was in third place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, but thanks to the wreck, he dropped to fourth place. The pileup also drew in Joey Logano and Aric Almirola, while Brad Keselowski managed to avoid it and take over first place, reports AP.
Gordon issued a statement: “I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack, I accept NASCAR’s decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead,” reports AP.
Even though the wreck involved Bowyer, a contender in the Sprint Cup series with just one race left, Gordon has a pretty clean record with NASCAR and that's why he avoided suspension, according to Yahoo Sports.
In addition to Gordon's fine, Bowyer's crew chief, Brian Pattie, was fined $25,000 for being unable to control his crew during the fight on pit road. Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Gordon's boss, was docked 25 owner points while Gordon's crew chief, Alan Gustafson, was placed on probation, reports AP.
According to Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, "We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them."