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Nov 12, 2012 - 06:05 AM
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Wrecking and Fighting Caps off Phoenix Race Day
Posted by: BGerhart on Nov 12, 2012 - 05:54 AM
Feature Articles
Wrecking and Fighting Caps off Phoenix Race Day


By Brad Gerhart

With under 10 laps left (lap 305 of 312) in the rather cool 65 degree weather of Phoenix, things sure heated up on track during NASCAR’s AdvoCare 500

In a battle for position Clint Bowyer forced Jeff Gordon to the high side of a turn, made contact with Gordon’s No.24 car and in the process cut Gordon’s rear left tire. “He cut the tire,” Gordon said over the radio after he brushed the outside wall, several times.

A yellow did not come out for the incident, while Gordon decided to keep the No.24 car on the track, even though his lap speeds were significantly slower than anyone else’s, which forced NASCAR to black flag Gordon. Finally, on lap 312, with Bowyer in his rear view mirrors (and headed toward the apron to pass) Gordon aggressively took out Bowyer and Joey Logano for that matter in a clear revenge, payback move.

Who’s at fault? Well that of course depends on who one talks to.

According to Gordon’s Crew Chief Alan Gustafson, Bowyer got what he deserved. “If you are going to race that way, you shouldn’t be upset when you get it back.” Gustafson also stated that Bowyer did similar actions to Gordon on multiple occasions and Gordon simply had enough. “Clint has run into me numerous times, wrecked me, and he got into me on the back straightaway and pretty much ruined our day,” said Gordon. “ I've had it, fed up with it and I got him back.”

 

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“That was a real act of a champion,” Brian Pattie, Crew Chief of Bowyer said over the radio immediately after the on track incident.

A scene more suitable for pro wrestling, saw Bowyer sprint down pit lane, into the paddock area and nearly into Gordon’s trailer before he was abruptly detained by various members of Hendrick personnel. “Homestead if we have nothing to lose, I’m pretty sure he’ll get it down there,” Pattie said after thing settled down between the two teams.

Once again Gustafson stood by his drivers actions and didn’t seem quite concerned about the final outcome for Bowyer. “I love Jeff Gordon I stand by him 100%, that’s what we had to do. If he’s tired of it, then that means it’s time,” he said.

Now I for one do not condone either drivers actions in this particular incident, however, in the heat of the battle it’s sometimes difficult for athletes (of any sport) to keep their composure and remain cool. Under certain circumstances there will always be times where tempers flare and the old act before thinking comes into play.

It’s simply apart of sport.

A good part?

Again, depends who you talk to. There’s no doubt a lot of fans in attendance and those watching around the globe love to the pot being stirred as emotions boil over. This of course, being one of those that many will not only remember, but talk about for a long time now.

On the other hand, the NASCAR officials may not be on that same side.

That was quite clear when they had four police officers in front of the trailer in which Gordon and Gustafson discussed the matter and had many others attempt to break up the two teams on pit lane when the two pushed and shoved each other while they exchanged choice words that more than likely would not be suitable for network television.

Yes, it is unacceptable for any kind of athlete to lose their cool like Gordon and Bowyer did on Sunday and they’ll definitely pay a steep price for their actions both from their wallets and probation, but man it sure makes for a great storyline and great television.

Gordon clearly realized he’ll be punished but did not seem all that worried about the consequences for his wrong doings.

“They've got to do what they've got to do, and I guess I had to do what I had to do.”

Indeed.





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