Crew Chiefs for J. Gordon and K. Kahne Fined

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NASCAR determined none of the drivers involved in Sunday's post-race melee at Texas Motor Speedway deserved punishment for their roles. The same can't be said for some of the crew members involved in the incident. NASCAR handed down severe penalties Tuesday night, suspending four crew members and fining the crew chiefs for Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne. Kahne rear tire changer Jeremy Fuller and Gordon mechanic Dwayne Doucette and engine tuner Jason Ingle were suspended for six points races apiece and fined $25,000. Another Gordon crew member, Dean Mozingo, a hauler driver and mechanic, was suspended for three races and fined $10,000. Gordon crew chief Alan Gustafson and Kahne crew chief Kenny Francis were each fined $50,000 and placed on six-race probation for failing to properly oversee their crew members. "While the intensity and emotions are high as we continue through the final rounds of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the actions that we saw from several crew members Sunday following the race at Texas are unacceptable," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR senior vice president for competition and racing development. "We reviewed the content that was available to us of the post-race incident along pit road, and identified several crew members who crossed the line with their actions, specifically punching others. VIDEO: Keselowski and Gordon, crews fight at Texas "We therefore have penalized four crew members as well as their crew chiefs, as they ultimately are responsible for members of their team per the NASCAR rulebook. A NASCAR championship is at stake, but we can't allow behavior that crosses the line to go unchecked, particularly when it puts others in harm's way." Hendrick Motorsports said it will not appeal the penalties and the suspended crew members will not face further in-house punishment. The brawl started on pit road after the race, in which Brad Keselowski -- racing for the lead -- tried to force his way between Gordon and eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson. Gordon got a flat, wrecked and finished 29th, taking a blow to his title hopes. USA TODAY Brawl breaks out at Texas between Gordon, Keselowski, Harvick On pit road, Kevin Harvick pushed Keselowski toward an angry Gordon, who grabbed Keselowski's collar after the two exchanged words. Crew members then piled in, leaving Gordon and Keselowski bloodied. But the drivers were not punished because they did not throw any punches, which is what NASCAR said would cross the line. Some of the crew members, though, clearly engaged in actions beyond just pushing and shoving. One of them was Fuller, who was enjoying somewhat of a second chance at Hendrick after Red Bull Racing Team fired him over anti-gay tweets in 2011. During Sunday's brawl, he was seen flying in from behind and landing punches on the head of an unidentified Keselowski crew member. "With NASCAR's new Chase format, we're seeing an unprecedented level of intensity every single week," team owner Rick Hendrick said. "Emotions run high when you're racing for a championship, and that's exciting for our fans and everyone involved with the sport. But there's a line the competitors need to be cognizant of, and we understand that. "Jeff was rightfully fired up Sunday night, and it just reiterated to me how passionate he is and how much he wants to win. The No. 24 team is a group that works together and is loyal to one another. They have our full support as we go into these final two races." USA TODAY Denny Hamlin on Brad Keselowski: 'Lack of remorse' angers drivers During an appearance on the Sirius/XM NASCAR channel earlier Tuesday, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France promised "harsh penalties" for anyone caught throwing punches when the video was reviewed. "When someone is potentially injuring somebody, that will be a line we will deal with, whether you're driver or certainly a crew member," he said. Some fans wanted to see Keselowski punished for his aggressive driving, which resulted in Gordon's tire being cut. But France said Keselowski was trying to go for a win – which is what NASCAR wants drivers to do. "Quite frankly, he did exactly what any driver who has that much on the line (should do) to look for an opportunity and shoot a gap if you will," France said. "… Late in the race, things are going to happen when guys are legitimately trying to win races."​ USA TODAY Gluck: Brad Keselowski did nothing wrong at Texas Keselowski collided with Gordon in a three-way battle for the lead with Johnson on the first of two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish. The contact with the No. 2 Ford cut the left-rear tire on Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet, sending it into a turn 3 spin. "He's just a dip---," the four-time champion said during a nationally televised interview, of Keselowski. "I don't know how he's ever won a championship, and I'm just sick and tired of it. That's why everyone is fighting him. "You can't have a conversation with him. He gets himself in this position, and he has to pay the consequences. I'm going to race him the same way he races me. That kind of stuff is just uncalled for and I'm not going to stand for it." WATCH: Gordon spins after colliding with Keselowski After being shouted at by Gordon, Keselowski was attempting to walk away when he was pushed backward by Harvick, triggering a brawl among a few dozen team members. "If you're going to drive like that, you'd better be willing to fight," Harvick said. "It's like I told him, 'If you're going to drive like a madman, you'd better be willing to take a few punches.' He was going to stand behind his guys. Jeff Gordon deserved to at least have a face-to-face conversation with him. "I said, 'You're the problem. Get in your own fight.'" Keselowski, who also has feuded in the past with Harvick (who gently slapped him during a postrace interview at Atlanta Motor Speedway two years ago), retorted that "if I wanted to be a fighter, I would have joined the UFC or have a management team like he does" (Kevin Harvick Inc. represents fighters Donald Cerrone and Miesha Tate). "Kevin likes everybody to fight for some reason," said Keselowski, adding that "true race fans" don't want fights in NASCAR. "I came here to race, not to fight. I raced as hard as I could, and these guys just didn't like it." http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nas...fight/18471839/
 
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Good, the crew chiefs are responsible for their crews, and the crews were the ones acting out of order. I still stand that NASCAR should have had an official at Jeff's car preventing him from exiting and making him go to the garage. That would have diffused the situation before it started.
 
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Well, if they are stuck driving kit cars that are rolling sign boards and dealing with more rules than anyone can count driving races that are orchestrated by a TV contract at least the working members of racing can still get it on with an old fashioned fist fight in the pits. Both sides probably had more fun than anyone else there that night. And true to form the organizers had to climb on their high horses and hand out some fines and declare that they are above such behavior. The only downside is that this minor little scuffle was really expensive but worse than that, these modern racers just don't know how to fight like the older generation.
 
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Originally Posted By: spasm3
I don't know what a driver/hauler/mechanic makes but i would guess a 10k fine would hurt a good bit.
Thinking the team is going to cover it...
 
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Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
I stopped watching after # 3 died.
I thought about #3 when I saw that move by Keselowski. Isn't that the sort of thing Dale Sr did without a second thought? Kevin
 
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