AVONDALE, Ariz. — With his No. 15 Toyota still smoking, Clint Bowyer sprinted from his car to the garage to confront Jeff Gordon, who had dumped him with two laps remaining in Sunday’s Advocare 500.
Bowyer’s team already was involved in a brawl before the driver even attempted to run up into Gordon’s No. 24 hauler but was held back by NASCAR officials and other team members.
The incident stemmed from contact between Bowyer and Gordon on Lap 305, when the No. 15 slid up into Gordon’s No. 24 while both drivers were battling for fifth place.
“Things just got escalated over the year, and I’d just had it,” Gordon said after his meeting with NASCAR. “Clint has run into me numerous times, wrecked me, and he got into me on the back straightaway and pretty much ruined our day. I’ve had it, fed up with it and I got him back.”
Gordon limped around the track for several laps before taking out Bowyer and collecting Joey Logano directly in front of Brad Keselowski, who took the points lead with his run at Phoenix International Raceway.
“We got used up by Clint several times this year, and enough is enough,” Gordon’s crew chief Alan Gustafson said. “If you’re going to mess with the bull, you’re going to get the horns.
“That’s just ridiculous that a champion would act like that,” Bowyer’s team owner Michael Waltrip said.
NASCAR red-flagged the event to clean up the track. After almost 15 minutes, the race resumed.