WATCH: Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer Sit to ‘Discuss’ Their 2012 NASCAR Incident in Phoenix

Published 03/17/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 08: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Haas CNC Ford, Hall of Fame driver and TV commentator Jeff Gordon and Fox broadcast Adam Alexander before the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 08, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


Back in 2012, Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer got involved in a big altercation during the Cup race at Phoenix Raceway. Apparently, the two of them tangled with each other during the race and took themselves out. Later on, it prompted Bowyer to sprint to the paddock and engage in a brawl with Gordon and their respective crew.

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Recently, the two drivers sat down to discuss the incident and finally clear the air. Gordon was pretty adamant that the then #15 driver would not win the championship that year. The four-time Cup Series champion brought up a certain race at Martinsville. However, Bowyer tried to steer the conversation back to the Phoenix race.

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Then the two of them continued to argue back and forth for a while. Obviously, Clint Bowyer had his version, and Jeff Gordon had his version of events. Since both were obviously biased, they reached an impasse, and the argument went nowhere.

How did the Clint Bowyer-Jeff Gordon saga really play out?

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Apparently, the 2012 Martinsville race lit the fuse when Bowyer tried a move on Gordon for the lead. The Hendrick Motorsports driver turned in on Bowyer and spun him into Jimmie Johnson. Gordon insisted that he dominated the race until he got taken out. However, Bowyer got the impression that his rival was deflecting blame away from himself.

LONG POND, PA – JULY 31: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 Maxwell House Toyota, gets in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway on July 31, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Finally, Gordon conceded that he harbored a small grudge over the Martinsville incident. Then came the fateful race at Phoenix, where they took each other out again and collected another innocent victim. This time, it was the #20 car of an unsuspecting Joey Logano.

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Unfortunately, this started a fresh round of arguments between the duo. To make matters worse, the two eventually landed right back to square one all over again. Suffice to say, there may not be a proper conclusion to the debate any time soon.

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Dhruv George

12013 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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