- NASCAR has fined Jeff Gordon $100,000 for deliberately wrecking Clint Bowyer during Sunday's AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
- Other fines and penalties resulted from the brawl between the crews of the two drivers and from Brad Keselowski's use of his cell phone during the race.
- Kevin Harvick won the AdvoCare 500 and Keselowski took the lead in driver points, but crashes and fighting were the highlights of the day.
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon was fined $100,000 and 25 driver points for deliberately wrecking Clint Bowyer and triggering a brawl between the two drivers' teams Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.
NASCAR acted swiftly, announcing the penalties on Monday and ending speculation that Gordon might be suspended for the season finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack," Gordon said in a statement posted on the NASCAR Web site. "I accept NASCAR's decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead."
Kevin Harvick won the race and 6th-place finisher Brad Keselowski took a significant lead over Jimmie Johnson in their battle for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
But Keselowski also took a hit from NASCAR as he was fined $25,000 for using his cell phone during the red flag period that ensued after Gordon crashed himself, Bowyer, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola with two laps remaining in the scheduled distance of the 500-kilometer, 312-mile race.
Keselowski gained considerable publicity and a large fan following through his use of social media during the season-opening Daytona 500, but NASCAR rules prohibit the possession by drivers of computer devices on racecars.
Gordon felt Bowyer roughed him up late in the race and appeared to lose control as he tried to bump Bowyer with three laps left in the race. He hit the wall, then slowed and waited for Bowyer to overtake him. As Bowyer drove past one lap later, Gordon turned hard left into Bowyer's right rear, wrecking Bowyer and himself and catching up two innocent victims in the process.
Gordon claimed a series of incidents in which he felt he was the victim of overly aggressive driving by Bowyer.
A $25,000 fine was levied against Bowyer's crew chief, Brian Pattie, for failing to maintain control of his Michael Waltrip Racing crew members, who rushed to physically confront Gordon and his team in the garage compound while the race was red-flagged because of the incident.
In his post-race interview, Keselowski erupted in a profanity-laced condemnation of the Gordon-Bowyer incident. NASCAR opted not to penalize him for the rant.
Edmunds says: Gordon dropped from 6th to 11th in Chase for the Cup standings, so he and the Hendrick Motorsports team will lose much more than the dollar amount of the NASCAR fine.