NASCAR announced their penalties from the actions taken by competitors during Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 from the Phoenix International Raceway. Some of the penalties made sense, some were not as severe as fans would hope, and one was a real head scratcher until you recall an earlier announcement. Without further ado, here are the penalties handed down:
-Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 car, 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 – and has been fined $100,000, docked 25 championship driver points and put on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
-Rick Hendrick, owner of the No. 24 car, has also been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points.
-Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 24 car, also 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) and has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
Michael Waltrip Racing
-Brian Pattie, crew chief of the No. 15 car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A and has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
-Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 car, has been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating 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) – driver had a cell phone in his possession onboard the race car.
Originally after watching Gordon try to take out Bowyer, fail, then slow down and wait for Bowyer and strike, I was livid. I wanted him sat for Homestead and maybe even more. The problem is there is no precedent for that kind of action, now before Kyle Busch fans go up in arms, Busch had a lengthy rap sheet prior to purposely crashing Ron Hornaday, Jr. in the Camping World Truck Series race at Texas a year ago. Gordon’s last real on track “dust up” was when he shoved Jeff Burton a few years back after an accident. This would be like Carl Edwards getting turned by Brad Keselowski, getting repaired, then going back on track and crashing Keselowski. No suspension for Edwards, but probation and a fine. Well, here we have probation, fine, and a points penalty. Cooler heads prevailed in the NASCAR office this time, but it should still be an issue at Homestead between the drivers.
I’m surprised that no crew members beyond the crew chiefs were fined/put on probation. Both Alan Gustafson and Brian Pattie got the general, you need to be in control of your guys penalty, but nothing more. I guess NASCAR was ok with the wrestling match in the garage then, write that one down.
Keselowski’s penalty was surprising at first because you’d think he would have been fined for his language during his post-race press conference. Instead it was for Tweeting in the race, which compared to Gordon/Bowyer seemed inconsequential. Until you think back and after the Daytona 500, drivers were warned/told not to have electronic devices in their cars during races. Well, there you go.
Here’s reaction from some people involved in the penalties today:
Michael Waltrip Racing
“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.”
Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal sanctions announced today by NASCAR regarding the No. 24 Sprint Cup Series team and driver Jeff Gordon.
“I’ve always respected Jeff for standing his ground,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “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.”
“I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack,” Gordon said. “I accept NASCAR’s decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead.”
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition
“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. 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.”