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.
UConn hoops muscles way into Top 25
The Associated Press Top 25 men’s basketball poll saw little change after an uneventful first week, with UConn being the only newcomer at No. 23 after beating then-No. 14 Michigan State in Germany. It’s the first time the Huskies, who are academically ineligible for the postseason, have been ranked since Jan. 23. In the women’s poll, Baylor, UConn, Duke, Stanford, and Maryland remained in the top five spots . . . Madison Square Garden will host the East Regional in 2014, the first time the NCAA basketball tournament will be in the arena in 53 years. The Final Four will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
BC, NU pair up in men’s soccer tourney
Boston College and Northeastern will meet Thursday night at Parsons Field in an NCAA tournament first-round men’s soccer match, with the winner traveling to UConn on Sunday . . . The new college football postseason system will have six games as originally planned, but now a spot in the marquee bowls will be reserved for the best team from a group of five conferences that includes the Big East . . . Washington State coach Mike Leach denied his players are subjected to any type of abuse, as alleged by star receiver Marquess Wilson, who quit Saturday.
Djokovic edges Federer in ATP final
Novak Djokovic recovered from early breaks in both sets to beat Roger Federer, 7-6 (7-6), 7-5, in the title match at the ATP finals in London. Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez won doubles by beating Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, 7-5, 3-6, 10-3 . . . Lefthander Jeremy Affeldt and the San Francisco Giants agreed to terms on a three-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said . . . Olympic gold medalists Allyson Felix and Ashton Eaton won the 2012 Jesse Owens Award. It’s the record fourth time Felix has been honored as the top track and field athlete in the US, and Eaton’s first . . . Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were among five players nominated for the PGA Tour player of the year. Also on the ballot are Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, and Jason Dufner . . . Olympic skiing champion Lindsey Vonn was admitted to a Colorado hospital with an undisclosed illness . . . Forrest ‘‘Dew Drop’’ Morgan, a national bobsled champion and former manager of the US Olympic team, died Saturday in Lake Placid. He was 90.