Michael Waltrip Racing, responding Monday to the incidents that occurred immediately after Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, said what it called the “unfortunate reactions off the track” failed to “live up to the professional standards in which Michael Waltrip Racing expects all of its representatives to live by.”
After Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecked Clint Bowyer near the end of the race, some of Bowyer’s crew members attacked Gordon after he climbed from his car. A general melee ensued as members of both teams, NASCAR officials and others tangled in a mass of humanity in the garage area.
Bowyer ran from his car to Gordon’s hauler after the race but was restrained by a NASCAR official, who prevented him from entering the hauler.
Gordon, Bowyer and the two crew chiefs were called to the NASCAR hauler to discuss the incidents. Penalties are expected this week.
“The goal of Michael Waltrip Racing is to be a championship-level organization both on and off the track,” said the MWR statement, which a company official called a “company statement” as opposed to comments by a single individual. “The on-track incident which occurred during Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway was extremely disappointing and brought raw emotions of a long and hard championship battle to the surface. Though we generally cannot control certain actions on the track, the unfortunate reactions off the track Sunday did not live up to the professional standards in which Michael Waltrip Racing expects all of its representatives to live by. We commit to our sponsors, our manufacturer, our fans and NASCAR that we will do so in the future.”
Neither Gordon nor Hendrick Motorsports had any public comment Monday about the Sunday events.
After the crash, Bowyer finished 28th and Gordon 30th in the race. Bowyer is fourth in the point standings, and Gordon is 10th.
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.