Of all sports fights, the battles between NASCAR competitors are usually pretty entertaining, bereft as pit road is of referees in black and white stripes. This weekend’s throw down between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski was one for the ages.
THE TALE OF THE TAPE
Height: 5-feet 7-inches
Weight: 150 pounds
NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships: 4
Net Worth: $200 million
NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships: 1
Net Worth: $15 milion
This weekend’s brouhaha touched off when Gordon headed for the lead on a restart. Gordon and Keselowski made contact, which cut Gordon’s left rear tire, resulting in a spin. On pit road after the race, Gordon stopped next to Keselowski’s car. He got out and confronted Keselowski, asking “Are you that stupid?”
Keslowski responded that he “saw a hole,” and seconds later, Gordon lunged at him, touching off a melee between the drivers and crews. A Gordon crew member grabbed Keslowski and threw him to the ground.
Gordon, entered the race at Texas Motor Speedway as the leader in points, battling it out for is fifth career championship. The crash set Gordon back to a 29th place finish.
Keselowski is currently 7th in points, with a strong third place finish at Texas.
“We were sitting there on older tires. I spun the tires a little but I got a pretty decent restart,” he told ESPN. “We went down into (turn) one and I just wanted to get to the outside of the 48 (Johnson) and and out of nowhere I just got slammed by the 2 and it cut my left-rear tire. He’s just a dip—. The way he races, I don’t know how he ever won a championship and I’m just sick and tired of it.
WATCH: Gordon Spins After Contact with Keselowski
“That’s why everybody is fighting and running him down. Your emotions are high. That was a huge race for us. We had the car and we had the team.”
Keselowski argued that he was battling for the win on the restart. At last week’s race at Martinsville, Keselowski showed up at Texas last in the Chase standings, and needed a win to advance to the championship round. Keselowski was NASCAR champion in 2012 and has been frustrated in his attempt to regain the championship.
“To (NASCAR), it’s just a racing incident,” said Gordon. “To me, it’s a bunch of crap. The kid is doing stuff way over his head. That stuff is uncalled for. You are racing for a win and a championship. You don’t go slamming someone and cut their left-rear tire. If that’s what it takes, no problem, I can do the same thing to him.”