NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

 
        === Gordon fined, docked points for altercation with Bowyer ===
 
 Daytona  Beach, FL (Sports Network) - NASCAR penalized Jeff Gordon with a loss
 of  25  points and a fine  of $100,000 for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer
 during Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
 
 According  to  release from  NASCAR  on  Monday, Gordon  was  found  to be  in
 violation  of  Sections 12-1  (actions  detrimental  to  stock car  racing  --
 altercation with another competitor on the race track during the race). He was
 also placed on probation until Dec. 31.
 
 Gordon  avoided suspension  for the  incident, which  led to  a brawl  between
 Gordon  and  Bowyer's team  in the  garage area at  Phoenix. The four-time Cup
 Series champion will compete in next Sunday's season-ending race at Homestead-
 Miami Speedway.
 
 "I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack," Gordon said in a team
 statement.  "I accept  NASCAR's decision and look forward to ending the season
 on a high note at Homestead."
 
 Alan  Gustafson, the  crew  chief  for Gordon's  No.  24 Hendrick  Motorsports
 Chevrolet, received probation for the remainder of the year as well. Gustafson
 was  found to  be in  violation of  Section 9-4A  (at all  events, crew  chief
 assumes  responsibility of his driver, car owner and team members). Team owner
 Rick Hendrick was docked 25 championship owner points.
 
 "I've  always respected Jeff for standing his ground," Hendrick said. "We also
 respect  that  NASCAR needs  to  police  the sport  and  send  a message  when
 situations like this occur. It's been a great year, and we're going to put our
 focus on finishing in a positive way this weekend."
 
 Brian  Pattie, the  crew  chief for  Bowyer's No.  15  Michael Waltrip  Racing
 Toyota,  was fined  $25,000 and placed on  probation until the end of the year
 for  his  team's involvement in  the fight.  Members of Bowyer's crew attacked
 Gordon after he got out of his car in the garage.
 
 Earlier  in the  day,  MWR issued  a statement  apologizing  for the  physical
 altercation.
 
 The  statement  read,  "The  goal  of  Michael  Waltrip  Racing  is  to  be  a
 championship-level  organization  both on  and  off  the track.  The  on-track
 incident  which occurred  during Sunday's  NASCAR Sprint  Cup race  at Phoenix
 International  Raceway was extremely disappointing and brought raw emotions of
 a long and hard championship battle to the surface.
 
 "Though  we  generally  cannot  control  certain actions  on  the  track,  the
 unfortunate reactions off the track Sunday did not live up to the professional
 standards  in which  Michael Waltrip Racing expects all of its representatives
 to  live by. We  commit to our sponsors, our manufacturer, our fans and NASCAR
 that we will do so in the future."
 
 As customary after any physical altercation during a race, officials had a sit
 down  with Bowyer and Gordon in the NASCAR hauler following the event. Several
 security  officers  stood guard outside the  hauler as the meeting took place.
 The  sanctioning  body further reviewed  the incident on Monday before issuing
 its penalties.
 
 "Following  a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday's
 race at Phoenix International Raceway, we have issued penalties based upon our
 review,"  NASCAR vice  president  of competition  Robin  Pemberton said.  "The
 decisions  announced today cover NASCAR's full assessment of penalties for the
 incidents that occurred.
 
 "There's  no  doubt  that  a  unique set  of  circumstances  combined  with  a
 championship  battle on the line resulted in raw emotions coming into play. We
 consider  the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision
 and we expect them to abide by them."
 
 NASCAR  also noted  its release that Brad  Keselowski, the driver of the No. 2
 Penske  Racing Dodge and the current points leader in the Chase for the Sprint
 Cup  championship, was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for
 having  a cell  phone in his car  while on the racetrack. Keselowski was using
 the  electronic device  when NASCAR  halted (red-flagged)  the race  following
 Bowyer  and  Gordon's crash. He  violated Sections  12-1 and 20-6.7A (cars and
 drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic
 recording   devices,   electronically  actuated  devices,  power  distribution
 modules,  power  conditioners, micro-processors, recording devices, electronic
 digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the
 like, even if inoperable or incomplete).
 
 Earlier  this year,  NASCAR implemented  a  rule banning  drivers from  having
 electronic devices in their cars during competition.
 
 Keselowski presently holds a 20-point advantage over Jimmie Johnson.
 
 11/12 19:02:10 ET

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