Jeff Gordon has been fined, docked points and placed on probation following his retaliatory clash with Clint Bowyer in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix, but the sanctioning body stopped short of suspending the four-time series champion.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver was fined $100,000, docked 25 points in the drivers' standings and placed on probation until the end of the year after deliberately crashing with Bowyer in an accident that also collected Joey Logano. Gordon and Bowyer had tangled several laps earlier in an incident that left Gordon with a puncture.
Hendrick team boss Rick Hendrick accepted the punishment for his long-time driver.
"I've always respected Jeff for standing his ground. We also respect that NASCAR needs to police the sport and send a message when situations like this occur," Hendrick said. "It's been a great year, and we're going to put our focus on finishing in a positive way this weekend."
Gordon, who dropped to 11th in the standings due to his points loss, accepted the penalties levied.
"I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack," Gordon said. "I accept NASCAR's decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead."
Gordon's crew chief Alan Gustafson was also placed on probation until the end of the season for failing to control his crew, while Bowyer's crew chief Brian Pattie was fined $25,000 for the same reason.
Members of both crews got into a physical exchange in the garage area while the race was red-flagged due to the drivers' collision. However, NASCAR indicated no further penalties would be forthcoming.
"Following a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway, we have issued penalties based upon our review. The decisions announced today cover NASCAR's full assessment of penalties for the incidents that occurred," said NASCAR vp for competition Robin Pemberton.
"There's no doubt that a unique set of circumstances combined with a championship battle on the line resulted in raw emotions coming into play. We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them."
NASCAR also fined Chase leader Brad Keselowski with $25,000 for carrying his cell phone inside his racecar. The Penske driver used it to tweet while the race was halted. Similar actions from him during this year's Daytona 500 – which came to light after posted images from his car on Twitter – went unpunished.