While tooling around Facebook earlier today, yes that’s the introduction to almost every good story out there, SB Nation’s Matt Weaver shared a link to a YouTube video showing all the run ins between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer this year. I thought that was very cool that someone put them together all in one handy film, which is featured below. Caution near the end Bowyer says some swear words, so show to children at your discretion. Take a look then continue reading.
Ok, excellent, you’re back. Maybe you’re like me and after watching that you go “wait, what?” As in why was Gordon so mad? Let’s take a look at what you saw:
The first part was when Bowyer cannonballed Gordon and teammate Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville in the spring. From Gordon’s standpoint, it was 100% Bowyer’s fault and he has a right to be ticked off. For Bowyer, he put blame on Gordon spinning the tires and Ryan Newman pushing him into the corner. The video shows the two talking but Gordon still looks steamed. That’s ok, understandable.
The second video is from the NASCAR Contenders Live, which I didn’t see anything bad other than Bowyer ragging on Gordon about his moustache.
Moving forward we go to Martinsville in the fall, where Gordon takes out his pent up anger on Bowyer. Now this is 100% on Gordon, while he didn’t wreck Bowyer, he definitely sent a message about how he was going to race him here on out.
For those scoring along with me, we have Gordon 1 and Bowyer 1. So it should be even, right? Everything rainbows and puppy dogs between them. Not so much, let’s move ahead to Phoenix aka the scene of the crime.
Bowyer and Gordon are racing down the backstretch and Bowyer got into Gordon, which resulted in Gordon cutting a tire. To me, it didn’t look intentional by Bowyer in any way, just hard racing. Look back to the second Martinsville run in, if Gordon had cut Bowyer’s tire, would he have gone bananas on Gordon? Debatable, but I’m thinking not. Then Gordon gets repairs and takes out Bowyer.
The reaction from Gordon is one of “ok I did it, we’re cool.” Bowyer on the other hand it fuming, I just wish he would have been allowed in Gordon’s trailer.
After seeing this as a whole, I’m having a hard time justifying Gordon’s actions on the track. At first I agreed with Gordon, that Bowyer has been pushing him around all year long. But that is false, it was only once, maybe twice depending on how you view Phoenix, that Bowyer really pushed Gordon around.
It has been reported that during the Las Vegas banquet ceremonies that Bowyer refused to acknowledge or talk to Gordon. I agree with Bowyer on this one, at no time did he do anything to justify the level of retaliation by Gordon at Phoenix. I think Gordon is getting to the point in his career where he wants to make the message he won’t be pushed around. A lot like how Mark Martin has raced the past few years. Martin is one of the most respected drivers out there for giving and taking on the track, now he’s taking a lot more than he used to.
Will this spill into 2013? I think so, Bowyer will take out Gordon at some point, it’s just a matter of when and where. But for Gordon, why was he so mad again?