NASCAR has docked one of its most famous drivers $100,000 for his part in a post-race, post-crash brawl between pit crews.
Four-time champion Jeff Gordon also lost 25 points and is now 11th in the Sprint Cup championship standings with one race remaining.
The crew chief for driver Clint Bowyer, Brian Pattie, was fined $25,000.
Gordon ran into Bowyer on Sunday at the race in Phoenix, Arizona, causing a late-race accident. The wreck basically removed any last hopes Bowyer had for a championship, as he finished 28th when his crew couldn't repair his car.
āI take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack,ā Gordon said through a written statement from his team owner. āI accept NASCARās decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead (racetrack in Florida).ā
Michael Waltrip Racing, which owns Bowyer's car, apologized for the post-race fight on pit road.
"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," a statement said, according to the website jayski.com.
The fight began after Gordon climbed from his car in the garage area. Members of Bowyer's crew came over and one grabbed Gordon from behind. The two teams wrestled between Gordon's toolbox and stacks of tires. Soon thereafter, Bowyer sprinted from his wrecked car to the trailer where Gordon had been escorted, only to be held back from by a NASCAR official and others.
One other fine was issued Monday. Points leader Brad Keselowski was ordered to pay $25,000 but survived a points penalty. His crime? He had a cell phone in the car, which apparently came to light thanks to an in-car camera used by TV networks.