Hendrick GM says company will pay all fines

Team owner Rick Hendrick says emotions run high when a championship is at stake.

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In a Wednesday appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Hendrick Motorsports General Manager Doug Duchardt said that the organization will be paying the fines of all Hendrick employees penalized by NASCAR for their role in Sunday’s fight at Texas Motor Speedway.

The total bill: $185,000.

"We will as a team incur that and we won’t put that on the crew members," Duchardt said. "We just have to pay the penalties and move on and hopefully we won’t find ourselves in that situation again."

Owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement released by the team that the fight that resulted after contact between the cars of Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski on the track was the result of increased intensity brought about by this year’s new Chase elimination format.

"With NASCAR’s new Chase format, we’re seeing an unprecedented level of intensity every single week," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports in a team release. "Emotions run high when you’re racing for a championship, and that’s exciting for our fans and everyone involved with the sport. But there’s a line the competitors need to be cognizant of, and we understand that.

"Jeff (Gordon) was rightfully fired up Sunday night, and it just reiterated to me how passionate he is and how much he wants to win. The No. 24 team is a group that works together and is loyal to one another. They have our full support as we go into these final two races."

NASCAR fined Gordon crew chief Alan Gustafson and Kasey Kahne crew chief Kenny Francis $50,000 each and placing both on probation for six races because "the crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members."

NASCAR also suspended three Hendrick Motorsports crew members for six races for "being involved in a post-race physical altercation" and fined them each $25,000. A fourth Hendrick crew member was fined $10,000 and suspended for three races for the same offense.

Neither Gordon nor Keselowski was penalized.