Relive an old-fashioned desert brawl on Throwback Thursday

Police break up fights in the Phoenix International Raceway garage following an on-track skirmish between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer.

Tyler Barrick/Getty Images

Ah, yes, the halcyon days of "Boys, have at it."

One of the most intense NASCAR confrontations in recent memory came at Phoenix International Raceway in the penultimate race of the 2012 season.

Earlier in the year, Clint Bowyer wrecked leaders Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson during a green-white-checkered finish at Martinsville Speedway, where one of the two teammates was poised to win the 200th race for Hendrick Motorsports. Instead, they both went up the track, allowing Ryan Newman to steal a victory.

So there was already animosity between the Hendrick camp and Bowyer when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hit Phoenix. In the Phoenix race, Gordon and Bowyer had contact with 14 laps to go, resulting in a cut tire for Gordon.

With two laps to go, Gordon slowed on the track. When Bowyer tried to go under him, Gordon hooked him into the Turn 4 wall, also taking out Joey Logano.

From there it was on, with Bowyer’s Michael Waltrip Racing pit crew brawling with Gordon’s crew and Bowyer sprinting through the garage on foot to get to the No. 24 hauler. And judging by the enormous amount of noise, the crowd was certainly into it, too.