After speaking with NASCAR officials about his part in a late-race crash and melee in Sunday's AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix, Clint Bowyer was both angry and downtrodden over Jeff Gordon's actions.
Bowyer, who still had an outside chance at winning the Sprint Cup Series championship entering the race, was taken out by Gordon in an act of blatant retaliation that set off a brawl between the teams.
Gordon's retaliation, Bowyer said, "makes us all look like a bunch of retards."
"It's pretty embarrassing for a four-time champion and what I consider one of the best the sport's ever seen to act like that," Bowyer said. "It's completely ridiculous."
Bowyer said he wasn't even trying to pass Gordon at that point in the race. He was biding his time and was content to ride behind Gordon to ensure a solid finish and a gain in the championship standings, but Gordon suddenly slipped up the track.
"I get under him and here he comes back, and I literally just barely rubbed him," Bowyer said. "And then all of the sudden I feel him trying to retaliate. I don't know if he missed and hit the wall, but he made himself look like a fool."
Brett Griffin, Bowyer's spotter, then surprised the driver with the news Gordon was waiting for him in Turn 3, ready to retaliate. Bowyer was bitterly disappointed when Gordon followed through on the threat.
"That was my opportunity to get myself back into the championship hunt," Bowyer said. "When you disrupt a championship hunt like that, it's too bad. They ask us not to do that at the drivers meeting and there's usually a lot of respect there. It's crazy. I didn't even need to pass him."
Though the two drivers were in the NASCAR hauler at the same time, they apparently did not interact. Bowyer said he didn't speak to Gordon when asked for details of their conversation.
"It's pretty soon to be talking to him," he said.
Asked if Gordon should be suspended for the season finale at Homestead, Bowyer wouldn't offer an opinion. His focus turned to the race itself, where he can still finish third in points if he gains two positions on Kasey Kahne.
"There's nothing you can do to fix it now, it's over with," he said. You've got to go on to Homestead and I gotta try and beat the 5 car."