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The Boston Globe


Sports Log

Jeff Gordon fined $100K for Clint Bowyer melee

Auto racing

Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon avoided suspension Monday when NASCAR instead fined him $100,000 and docked him 25 points for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. Gordon also was placed on probation through Dec. 31. He’ll be allowed to close out the season at this Sunday’s Homestead-Miami Speedway despite his actions, which triggered a fight in the garage area between the two drivers’ crews. ‘‘I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack,’’ Gordon said in a statement. ‘‘I accept NASCAR’s decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead.’’ The penalty drops Gordon to 11th in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He’s 4 points behind Martin Truex Jr. for 10th, and only the top 10 have formal roles in the season-ending awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Rick Hendrick was docked 25 car owner points, and crew chief Alan Gustafson was placed on probation through the end of the year. Gordon slowed his car and waited for Bowyer to wreck him on what was scheduled to be the final lap. There had been contact between the two a few laps earlier, and Gordon viewed it as the final straw in an escalating on-track feud. The accident collected Joey Logano and Aric Almirola, and championship contender Brad Keselowski weaved his way around the carnage. It also led to the brawl in the garage. Bowyer crew chief Brian Pattie was fined $25,000 and placed on probation through the end of the year for failing to maintain control of the crew. Bowyer could have climbed back into the title race, but Gordon’s actions instead dropped him to fourth and eliminated him from contention. Meanwhile, Keselowski was fined $25,000 and placed on probation for having an electronic device inside the car — a phone he used to tweet during a red flag caused by the wreck.

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