Yesterday we witnessed a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race turned UFC Fight all over Clint Bowyer just barely nudging the No.24 car of Jeff Gordon. Gordon being the four-time champion would usually be respectful and shrug off what happened but not yesterday. Yesterday Mr. Gordon decided he would take matters into his own hands. Jeff Gordon tried to wreck Bowyer going into Turn three and ultimately failed. Gordon wanted another shot at it.
Gordon, after a failed attempt at wrecking the No.15 of Clint Bowyer limped around the track for a few laps just waiting for Bowyer to get close enough to him to take attempt two at retaliation. This time Gordon was successful. Bowyer attempts to dodge the wreck but it just doesn’t work out for him. Bowyer moved to the inside underneath the apron but Gordon turned down into the No.15 and both cars went straight up the track collecting Joey Logano and they almost collected championship point’s leader Brad Keselowski.
Retaliation is what we saw in yesterday’s race. We saw a four-time champion self-destruct. Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecked Bowyer costing the No.15 team the slight chance at the championship title he had. A lot of people, myself included lost a lot of respect for Gordon. I, like many people have always respected Gordon but that plummeted today. Jeff Gordon has over 40 years of life experience and 20 years of racing experience but spur of the moment prevailed over common sense today.
It’s so easy to just bang on a driver’s door or give him a bump and say “I’m not happy with you!” but instead Jeff Gordon turned the No.15 into the outside wall ending both drivers races as well as Joey Logano’s and Aric Almirola’s.
Jeff Gordon did something that got Kyle Busch suspended last year and therefore the consequences should be the same. Gordon did something that is intolerable but will he suspended? No. He brings ratings to the sport. Would he be suspended if his last name was Busch and he was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada? Yes.
The race we witnessed yesterday is going to go down in history. It unfortunately will not go down in history for the awesome pass Kevin Harvick made on the outside of Kyle Busch on the next to last restart to win or the bad luck that potentially cost Jimmie Johnson a championship but for an act of retaliation. People tell me on twitter this race is going to bring fans to the sport. Fans like me don’t want to see a UFC fight at the end of the race or wrecks that could play hand in the championship. We want to see good aggressive driving. Door to door beating and banging. We want to see drivers giving each other a nudge and maybe even the bump and run for a win. We don’t see lives put in danger and wrecked sheet metal and neither do the teams who have to fix the car.
It truly is unfortunate that next November when the championship is coming down to the wire and ESPN is broadcasting the pre-race for the race at Phoenix, they will be talking about the retaliation, the wrecking and the fight between Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon’s teams. They won’t say a word about the brilliant pass Kevin Harvick made on Kyle Busch for the win and Harvick won’t receive the acknowledgement he deserves. It’s unfortunate that come February and we’re ready to go Sprint Cup racing in Daytona we probably won’t even remember that Kevin Harvick was the winner of this race because nobody is going to care about that. Nobody cares now let alone a few months and no one will care then.
By Tyson Lautenschlager