Why Jeff Gordon Was Wrong to Wreck Clint Bowyer at End of Race in Phoenix

Michael GuadalupeFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2012

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 11:  Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, collide on track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Phoenix this Sunday ended with plenty of excitement.  While Kevin Harvick finally won a race, and Brad Keselowski leads the Chase by 20 points, the real focus of the AdvoCare 500 was on Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon.

Bowyer bumped Gordon out of the way toward the end of the race, and Gordon reacted by dumping Bowyer with two laps to go, and ruining his Chase hopes.

A brawl ensued after the wreck, and NASCAR went as far as to red flag the race in order to get things cleared up.

Both drivers may have gotten a bit out of hand, but Jeff Gordon was wrong to wreck Clint Bowyer at the end of the Phoenix race.  Gordon let his temper get the better of him, and acted immaturely, ending all Chase hopes for the No. 15 team.


Acting Like a Champion

Gordon is a four-time champion, and for him to act the way he did at the end of the Phoenix race is pathetic.

He was quoted by Lee Spencer over at Foxsports.com as saying: 

"Things just got escalated over the year, and I'd just had it. Clint has run into me numerous times, wrecked me, and he got into me on the back straightaway and pretty much ruined our day. I've had it, fed up with it and I got him back.''

If Bowyer did cause Gordon all this grief throughout the year, why not handle it like a champion and deal with Bowyer face to face off the track?

Instead, Gordon waited until he had a reason to get back at Bowyer, and wrecked him in a tasteless style.

Gordon could have seriously injured himself or Bowyer, all because he let his temper get the best of him.  He also took Bowyer out of the Chase.  He might have had a slim chance of actually winning the championship, but with what happened to Jimmie Johnson at Phoenix, anything would have been possible at Homestead.

"It's pretty embarrassing,'' Bowyer said over at Foxsports.com. ''For a four-time champion, and what I consider one of the best this sport's ever seen to act like this is pretty ridiculous."


The Difference Between Wrecking and Racing

Jeff Gordon deciding to wreck Clint Bowyer at the end of the AdvoCare 500 was not racing, and is something that shouldn't be tolerated.  Last week at Texas, Keselowski came under fire for racing Jimmie Johnson hard.

So what will other drivers, and NASCAR, have to say about Gordon purposely putting Bowyer in the wall?  This was clearly not just racing hard, and simply all about revenge.

Both drivers should take some of the blame for the ending brawl at Phoenix, but Clint's action could pass for racing hard, while Gordon was clearly trying to wreck him.

Did Bowyer knock Gordon out of the race, or even endanger him and other drivers?  No, He didn't.

As for Gordon, though, his actions were a clear retaliation and were all about wrecking, not racing.

With the season coming so close to an end, Gordon wrecked Bowyer and clearly knew he would be taking him out of any contention for the championship.  Jeff had nothing to lose, and only acted in revenge.

He may claim that Bowyer has been wrecking him throughout the year, but Gordon's poor performance this season can't be blamed on Bowyer alone. 

Bowyer not having a chance to win the championship going into Homestead, though, can be blamed on Gordon.


Beyond Revenge

In the end, it goes far beyond Gordon wrecking Bowyer for simple revenge.  Whenever anyone wrecks another driver in NASCAR it should always be considered a classless act.

Gordon took out Bowyer and Joey Logano.  He was also close to knocking Keselowski out of the race as well.  What did Logano and Keselowski do to Gordon to be put in that situation late in the race?

It might be considered acceptable for Gordon to act in retaliation to Bowyer, if Clint had really caused a lot of damage to the No. 24 car.  Gordon didn’t take a lot of damage when he got pushed up the track by Bowyer.

Gordon endangered other drivers, and let his anger make him look like a fool.  It's hard to watch a four-time champion act the way Gordon did, and say his actions were acceptable.

Gordon wrecking Bowyer at the end of the Phoenix race was wrong, and he is lucky that he didn't hurt himself, or anyone else.