Petty: NASCAR brawl no big deal NASCAR legend Richard Petty believes that too much has been made of the confrontation between the crews of Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer at Phoenix.
Gordon sparked controversy at Phoenix when he deliberately waited for Bowyer on track to retaliate after the pair had collided. That second on-track clash led to a brawl in the pits, as Bowyer's crew tried to get to Gordon after he cost the latter any chance of winning this year's Cup title.
Petty dismissed the idea that NASCAR needs more of those sorts of incidents to boost publicity, but he added that the fight did not require the level of scrutiny it received afterward.
"I like those kinds of fights, it was just scuffling around," said the seven-time champion. "It was entertaining. I had a bird's-eye view – I was on top of the truck looking down and I said, 'Get him, man!'
"It was enjoyable because I wasn't down there getting hit! The pushing and shoving is no big deal. They weren't fighting, they were wrestling."
The 75-year-old added that the fanfare around the incident was a result of the popularity of NASCAR in the modern era.
"Things like that happened from the first race," he said. "But they just didn't have the TV or that many people around. If that happened 40 years ago, there were five or six guys in the garage area. Here, there were hundreds.
"So it wouldn't have been covered. Nobody would have said anything, and it would never have got into the press or on TV." More at Racer.com