Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jeff Gordon's retaliation against Clint Bowyer leads to chaos: Here's what everyone involved is saying

Bowyer races Gordon hard, Gordon retaliates in a major way – knocking Bowyer out of Chase contention in the process. Crews fight in the garage, Bowyer runs like a crazy man back to the garage to try to fight Gordon, lots of people will likely be fined over this. Gordon could conceivable by parked over this, though I doubt that will happen nor do I think they should do it. 

I think that covers it.
So let’s recap this whole fight thing.

It was great theater; and it
’s what happens when drivers get testy. I love it as a fan, and  the scene with Bowyer running through the garage like a maniac looking for Gordon will never be forgotten by me or the rest of those who were watching (“He’s lost his mind“, visibly shaken ESPN pit reporter Jamie Little said).

Here’s what the participants had to say:

“Things have gotten escalated over the year and I have just had it.  Clint (Bowyer) has run into me numerous times, wrecked me and he got into me on the back straightaway, pretty much ruined our day.  I have had it, was fed up with it and got him back.”

“They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do.  Just like I had to do what I had to do.”  


“Well I mean it’s about the fifth time that he (Clint Bowyer) has run us over.  After a while you get really frustrated.  We all work really hard on these cars and Jeff (Gordon) races everybody with a lot of respect.  Evidently he had enough.  If you are going to play that way, if you are going to race that way then you shouldn’t be upset when you get it back.”

“I love Jeff Gordon.  I stand by him 100 percent and that is what we had to do.  We will fix them all day long.  He is a great race car driver and he knows, everybody out here will tell you he is as good a race car driver and a competitor as there is.  If he is tired of it, it means it’s time.” 
“The crew thing is it’s between Jeff and Clint and not those team members. My instructions to the guys was just don’t let anybody get to Jeff. And that’s what that’s about.  We’re going to protect him and stand behind him at all costs. Those guys obviously have tempers running high as are ours, and that’s what happens.” 
“I don’t care.”



 “I think the best thing for me to do is not say anything right now because you know everybody’s emotions are pretty raw.  I like Clint (Bowyer) a lot he is a good guy.  I like all those guys.”


"I mean the racing -- it's just a shame.  The last person in the world you want to get into anything with is Jeff Gordon on the race track.  I mean, you're down there racing, the track's extremely slick, we're all on tires -- I didn't even need to pass him.  That's the thing.  All I was doing is riding around biding my time.  The only thing I had to do is keep the 5 car (Kasey Kahne) within reach, so for him to act like that -- I mean, I barely touched him and then I feel him get into turn three and try to turn me and he missed and then next thing I know Brett's (Griffin, spotter) telling me on the radio that he's trying to -- he's waiting on me.  It's pretty embarrassing for a four-time champion -- and what I consider one of the best this sport's ever seen -- to act like that is just completely ridiculous."

What did NASCAR say when you met them after the race?
"I don't know.  There's nothing you can do to fix it now.  It's over with.  You've got to go on to Homestead (-Miami Speedway).  I've got to try to beat the 5 car (Kasey Kahne), but I mean that was my opportunity to try to get myself back in the championship hunt.  When you're disrupting a championship run like that, it's too bad.  They asked us not to do that in the driver's meeting and there's usually a lot of respect there.  Like I said, it's crazy -- I didn't even need to pass him.  I was plenty content riding behind him and he slipped up down there, I get under him and here he comes back.  I just barely touched him.  I literally barely rubbed him and then all the sudden I feel him trying to retaliate and -- I don't know -- missed or something and hit the wall and made himself look like a fool."

Will you retaliate?
"We just have to see."

Should NASCAR penalize Jeff Gordon?
"You guys have been covering this sport a long time.  Same circumstances happened -- what was it, last year or year before and disrupted a championship and I don't understand how that's any different.  Like I said, it's over with and done and have to go to Homestead (-Miami Speedway) and do the best we can."


MICHAEL WALTRIP, owner, No. 15
What did you see happen between Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon?
"I've never seen anything like what Jeff Gordon did to a guy racing for a championship.  Cowardly, chickens--- move by someone that has raced for championships before, and knows how important every position is.  They barely brushed on the back straightaway and he waits -- he purposely waits and tells everybody he's waiting and wrecks our car and our hopes for racing for a championship.  I'm beside myself.  I can't believe that he would get involved in the championship battle."
What happened in the garage after the incident?
"We're just trying to keep everybody calm.  It's just a lot of emotion -- a lot of guys that have way more time and effort invested than the act that Jeff Gordon took to take care of a problem.  What a -- I just don't know what to say.  I'm beside myself to think that that could happen."

Did you expect NASCAR to issue any penalties?
"I don't know what to expect.  I can't believe that someone would purposely wait and crash a guy racing for a championship. Everything else was just pushing and shoving and wasn't any big deal.  If you focus on what happened on the track, that's where the story is -- not someone trying to make something out of some guys pushing each other."

Why did the No. 15 crew react the way they did after the incident?
"It's just boys venting, showing their frustration trying to express their feelings.  The men and women that work on these cars have way more invested in what goes on than people realize and people appreciate and when a coward makes a move like that on the race track they just see all their hopes and dreams go up in flames, literally -- they're going to be frustrated."


BRIAN PATTIE, crew chief, No. 15
"I don't know.  All I know is we were running top-five there and 24 (Jeff Gordon) kind of went up there.  I don't know. We must have got into him and he retaliated -- so we'll see what happens here.  Post-race got a little exciting.  Obviously, it doesn't look like there's too many Christmas cards going back and forth from the 15 (Clint Bowyer) and the 24."

How do you expect NASCAR to react?
"Well, if they're consistent, they'll park him.  They parked the 18 truck (Kyle Busch) at (Texas) -- when they retaliated. We'll see what happens.  I like to be consistent.  I try to be as fair as I can, so hopefully they are too."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home