Gordon: "Anger to ... Another Level''

Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon says that NASCAR needs to address what teammates can and can't do. (Photo: Getty Images)

Jeff Gordon says NASCAR got it “half right’’ with its penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing for manipulating the end of last weekend’s race at Richmond.

Gordon wanted NASCAR to penalize Clint Bowyer more. Bowyer’s spin brought out the final caution with seven laps to go and set in motion a series of events that kept Gordon from making the Chase.

“When I found out later how they manipulated it, that was anger to whole another level,’’ Gordon said. “It’s hard to describe.’’

NASCAR penalized Michael Waltrip Racing for its actions. That dropped Truex out of the Chase. Ryan Newman replaced him.

Bowyer denied he spun intentionally. NASCAR President Mike Helton said Monday that series officials could not conclusively determine if Bowyer spun intentionally.

“We all, I think as competitors and some in the media understand that it looks pretty obvious what caused that caution,’’ Gordon said Wednesday night before his foundation hosted a charity kickball event.

“It’s pretty obvious that (Bowyer) came back down pit road similar to what (Brian Vickers) did. That penalty really didn’t affect (Bowyer) but it did affect MWR. It was a huge penalty for MWR. It’s going to have consequences that go beyond just that penalty. In that sense, I feel like that the penalty was justified, but it really doesn’t address what happened with (Bowyer).’’

Gordon was asked about the reports Wednesday that David Gilliland’s team allowed Joey Logano to pass him late in the race and gain a point toward making the Chase. Gordon said he had not heard the audio on Gilliland’s radio and didn’t want to speculate.

“All I can say is that I feel like our team deserves to be in this thing based on everything that went on Saturday night, based on our performance,’’ said Gordon, who failed to make the Chase for only the second time. “I’d love to see us in it. If we’re not, it brings on a whole another level of motivation for us to go race for these next 10 weeks.’’

The MWR actions and questions about Gilliland and Logano, who both drive for Ford, raise questions about how much teammates or drivers with the same manufacturers can do or should be be expected to do.

“It probably needs to be addressed and its probably been lingering out there too long,’’ Gordon said. “I’ll admit as teams we’re trying to figure out how to get ourselves in the Chase and when the Chase comes what can we do to help our teammate win the championship. Those things are out there. They happen. Again, I think the difference is that there are lines that are drawn. To me, this crossed over the line. It’s going to happen again so it has to be addressed in a big way.’’ 

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Jeff Gordon

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