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Jeff Gordon fined $100K, docked 25 points

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon avoided suspension Monday when NASCAR instead fined him $100,000 and docked him 25 points for intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer at Phoenix International Raceway.

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Gordon was also placed on probation through Dec. 31. But he'll be allowed to close out the season Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway despite his actions in Sunday's race, which triggered a fight in the garage area between the two crews.

``I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack,'' Gordon said in a statement. ``I accept NASCAR's decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead.''

Rick Hendrick was also docked 25 car owner points, and crew chief Alan Gustafson was placed on probation through the end of the year.

``I've always respected Jeff for standing his ground,'' said Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. ``We also respect that NASCAR needs to police the sport and send a message when situations like this occur. It's been a great year, and we're going to put our focus on finishing in a positive way this weekend.''

Bowyer crew chief Brian Pattie was fined $25,000 and placed on probation through the end of the year.

NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton considered the matter closed after issuing the penalties.

``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,'' he said. ``We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them.''

Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski was fined $25,000 and placed on probation for having an electronic device inside the car - the phone he used to tweet during a red flag period caused by Gordon wrecking Bowyer. Keselowski first did it during a red flag at the season-opening Daytona 500, and NASCAR later banned the practice.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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