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Penalties handed out over Phoenix fracas

Jeff Gordon has received a heavy fine and points deduction for his on-track retaliation against Clint Bowyer at Phoenix, with other sanctions also being handed out.
Jeff Gordon has received a $100,000 fine and had 25pts deducted from his championship total for his on-track retaliation against Clint Bowyer which wrecked both cars and also ended the races of Joey Logano and Aric Almirola near the finish of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Gordon had received a flat tyre after an earlier encounter with Bowyer, which had wrecked the Hendrick Motorsports driver of a probably top five finish. Gordon then stayed out on track despite a black flag ordering him to pit, expressly so that he could punt Bowyer into a spin on the penultimate scheduled lap of the race.

"I take responsibility for my actions on the race track," said Gordon in a statement issued by the team. "I accept NASCAR's decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead."

As well as the fine and points deduction, Gordon will also be on probation through to the end of the year, although in practice the season ends next week with the finale at Homestead-Miami.

Many in the NASCAR paddock had called for the four-time champion to be suspended from the forthcoming race for his dangerous actions, as Kyle Busch was last year at Texas after he spun Ron Hornaday Jr. out in a similar act of retaliation at Texas Motor Speedway.

However, whereas Busch had a previous track record of similar offences, Gordon is widely seen as a clean driver with few past misdemeanours and so NASCAR decided not to impose such a sanction on his on this occasion.

Team owner Rick Hendrick also loses 25pts for the incident, while crew chief Alan Gustafson was placed on probation until December 31 since under NASCAR rules the crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his driver, car owner and team members.

"I've always respected Jeff for standing his ground," said Hendrick. "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."

There were further penalties, with Bowyer's crew chief also receiving a $25,000 fine and a probation for the rest of 2012, after chaotic scenes in the pit lane which saw many of the crew of the #15 Michael Waltrip Racing car jump on Gordon as he climbed out of his car.




Related Pictures

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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2012 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clint Bowyer, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, collide on track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Police break up fights in the garage area after an on-track incident between Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon (neither pictured) during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images_
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
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Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field past the green flag after the initial caution ended during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, is hit by Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, as he pulls into his pit box during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, signs the Coors Light Pole Award backdrop after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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Neil22 - Unregistered

November 13, 2012 8:54 PM

Big mistake by Jeff, he should know better. However, Bowyer has been using that splitter as a weapon all season long and it was only a matter of time till someone called him on it. Hey NASCAR, think you might be able to disarm the cars next year?

Shannon Bean - Unregistered

November 14, 2012 1:45 AM

Debbie,I agree with most of your comment but there a few things that I want to address too on it.When Brad said his curse word he was not on national television so that's the loophole NASCAR is using on that one.I agree all drivers should be handed the same punishment for the same violations as you pointed out,but I also think NASCAR has messed up again as well in the point that they fined only Brian Pattie and Michael Waltrip as a team owner in this incident on Clint's side.Clint's entire pit crew attacked Jeff when he got out of that car so they should all be fined for that unsportsmanlike conduct as well.I also think Clint himself should be fined for the way he escalated the incident by running across the pits to go after Jeff after his pit crew had already jumped on him.That was also conduct unbecoming therefore he should have to pay also.What is good for the goose is good for the gander.You can't just pick and choose when all involved acted like barbarians.As far as Brad being fin



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