Tom Cruise famously said "Rubbin' is racing" in his 1990 checkered flag classic, Days of Thunder. But on Sunday, rubbin' was the start of a shocking racetrack brawl between Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and their pit crews.
The incident occurred at Sunday's Advocare 500 after Bowyer made contact with Gordon's car as the two battled it out for fifth place on Lap 305, slashing Gordon's tire and sending him into a wall. Then, after re-entering the race, Gordon used his car to return the favor, inadvertently causing a multi-car crash and a pit crew brawl that could have lasting repercussions for both drivers, and the sport.
Once Gordon and Bowyer returned to the garage, that's when the fight erupted. An incident that led to both men being summoned to the NASCAR hauler. "They've got to do what they've got to do just like I had to do what I had to do,'' Gordon said about possible fines, suspensions or punishments the organization may throw at him.
Gordon added that this was a long time coming. "Things just got escalated over the year, and I'd just had it,'' he said. ''Clint has run into me numerous times, wrecked me, and he got into me on the back straightaway and pretty much ruined our day. I've had it, fed up with it and I got him back.''
"It's pretty embarrassing for a four-time champion and what I consider one of the best the sport's ever seen to act like that," Bowyer told reporters after the incident. "It's completely ridiculous.
UPDATE: NASCAR announced today that, as a result of this altercation, the following penalties would be imposed:
Jeff Gordon was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and has been fined $100,000, docked 25 championship driver points and put on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Brian Pattie, crew chief of Bowyer's car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A and has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
Check out the entire altercation below and decide if Gordon was out of line or justified in his actions.