The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Sports

November 13, 2012

Ken de la Bastide: Gordon needs a timeout

The past few years have been frustrating for Jeff Gordon, and that frustration finally manifested in an uncharacteristic manner at Phoenix last Sunday.

Gordon and Clint Bowyer have had a long history in 2012 of on-track incidents, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was when contact was made which sent Gordon into the pits for an unscheduled stop to change tires.

Gordon returned to the race and waited in ambush for Bowyer to come around for a pass with two laps remaining. Gordon intentionally drove into Bowyer’s Toyota, taking out Joey Logano in the process and almost ending Brad Keselowski’s day.

Once Gordon and Bowyer returned to the pit and garage areas, there was plenty of pushing and shoving between the two teams and perhaps a punch or two thrown and landed.

Both drivers met with NASCAR officials while sheriff deputies waited outside the NASCAR hauler to escort Gordon back to his motor home.

For his actions on the track, NASCAR officials should tell Gordon not to bother coming Miami for the last race of the season, his season is finished. Instead he was fined a meaningless $100,000 and 25 championship points. Gordon is a millionaire several times over and is already out of the championship hunt.

There is very little difference between what Gordon did on Sunday and what Kyle Busch did during a truck race when he intentionally wrecked Ron Hornaday. The only obvious difference is that Busch wrecked Hornaday during a caution period.

I guess it could be said that once NASCAR officials informed the drivers to “have at it,” this was going to be the eventual outcome.

Bowyer should be fined and docked points for running from his car which was parked on pit road to the 24 team’s hauler to partake in the war of words and physical contact. He escaped any punishment, but his crew chief was docked $25,000.

Gordon’s actions are not the way a four-time champion should represent the sport. He needs to be parked for at least one race and fined.

The Phoenix race was chaotic at best, and the finish was disappointing in several aspects.

Danica Patrick crashed on the final lap, and no caution flag was waved. NASCAR normally throws a caution flag for a one-car spin, even when the driver keeps going.

This time there was no caution flag displayed, which would have resulted in a green-white-checkered finish. Maybe NASCAR officials were concerned the frontrunners were low on fuel and wouldn’t be able to complete three or four more laps.

Patrick is also at fault for not pulling onto pit road and continuing down the front straight. Oil from her car resulted in slick conditions for the drivers racing to the finish and caused a multi-car accident.

NASCAR needs to be consistent when it comes to caution flags.

It’s almost a certainty that Keselowski is going to win the Sprint Cup championship, the first for car owner Roger Penske. Keselowski’s sixth-place finish combined with the 32nd-place run of Jimmie Johnson, after a flat right front tire put him in the wall, has the Dodge driver 20 points up with one race remaining.

Even if Johnson wins at Miami and leads the most laps, Keselowski only has to finish in the top 15 to secure the championship.

Only an early race mechanical problem or an on-track incident would keep Keselowski from winning the title.

It would be a good way for Dodge to leave NASCAR for the foreseeable future. The last time Dodge won a championship was in 1975 with Richard Petty behind the wheel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0712 - Morgan Nadaline art Nadaline's storied junior career concludes Morgan Nadaline's junior golf career came to an end Friday when Rachel Johnson sank a birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole to win the Indiana Section Junior PGA Championship at Honeywell Golf Course in Wabash.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0712 - Brazill art Colts waive suspended WR Brazill The Indianapolis Colts announced Friday they have waived wide receiver LaVon Brazill. The news comes just a little more than one week after the 2012 sixth-round draft pick was suspended for a second time for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • LeBron's Decision Basketball-3 [Duplicate] LeBron James returns to Cavs: 'I'm coming home' If LeBron James was going to win another NBA title, heal broken hearts and continue building his legacy, he knew there was only one place to go. To Ohio. Home.

    July 11, 2014 6 Photos

  • CRA Street Stocks return to Anderson Speedway Racing action returns to Anderson Speedway on Saturday with CRA Street Stocks, NASH FM ThunderCars, Front Wheel Drives Figure 8s and Thunder Roadsters.

    July 11, 2014

  • SPT - HB0712 - Lance Stephenson Pacers fill holes as they wait on Stephenson The Pacers couldn't keep waiting around for Lance Stephenson to make up his mind. So on Friday, they went to work. The two-time Eastern Conference runner-ups announced they had signed three free agents — backup big man Lavoy Allen, swingman C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez, a sharp-shooting forward from Europe.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0711 - Lind photo 3 Lind's mom helps get to bottom of foot injury Kathy Lind didn't need any special medical training to tell her something wasn't right with her son.

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT - HB0710 - Brady Cherry art THB Baseball Player of the Year: Lapel's Brady Cherry The hardest part of the 2014 season for Brady Cherry might have been living up to his own legend.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Bramwell: Leaving my heart in San Francisco Last week my daughter, Jourdan, and I took the road trip of a lifetime. We took Interstate 80 through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada all the way to California. Last Friday, I left my daughter and my heart in San Francisco.

    July 9, 2014

  • SPT - HB0709 - Weins art Weins aids Eagles' bonding process

    Contrary to popular belief, sometimes numbers do lie. Logan Weins surrendered nine hits and seven runs in the final start of his high school career — a sectional championship loss against Class 2A state champion Wapahani — and nobody argues those figures. But they don't tell the whole story.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: Team alliance could bring NASCAR changes Whether they like it or not NASCAR officials could be looking at changes in how television and sponsor money is divided with competitors and efforts to reduce costs of the sport.

    July 9, 2014

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News