Jeff Gordon's impromptu on-track celebration might have looked like a spontaneous celebration with his team to fans, but to NASCAR it was something more dastardly. After grabbing his fourth Brickyard 400 win on Sunday, Gordon parked the No. 24 ...
Jeff Gordon's impromptu on-track celebration might have looked like a spontaneous celebration with his team to fans, but to NASCAR it was something more dastardly. After grabbing his fourth Brickyard 400 win on Sunday, Gordon parked the No. 24 Chevrolet at the yard of bricks and exited the car.
On cue, Gordon's teammates joined him on track and the party commenced without those pesky PowerAde bottles mucking up the roof of his Pepsi- Cola/Gatorade partially sponsored car. Gordon commented that the choice to stop under the flagstand had nothing to do with the controversy that has brewed in the last several weeks about knocking product of official marketing partners of NASCAR off the roofs of cars in lieu of aggravating sponsors driver's have personal relationships with.
"I didn't do that purposely, to go out there and cause that and stir that up and to make sure that Powerade bottle wasn't on my car," Gordon said. "I went out there because that's where I wanted to celebrate with my team.
"Too often these days, as big as the sport has gotten - and I understand that it wouldn't be as big as it is today and we wouldn't be able to race at this level without all the TV, the media, the fans and the sponsors - but to me, we take away so much from these victories when we pull into Victory Lane and it's all about getting the interview and it's all about the hat on, it's all about mentioning the sponsor.
"I want to just jump up and down and hang out with my guys."
NASCAR didn't seem to agree.
The sanctioning body called car owner Rick Hendrick to the NASCAR trailer post-race to discuss the incident. Four-time Cup series champion, Gordon, was not summoned.
"I just enjoyed the moment," Gordon said. "I didn't care. I will care (Monday) when we find out, but now I don't."
Gordon's teammate, Jimmie Johnson, was fined $10,000 for placing a Lowe's cardboard sign in front of PowerAde bottles on top his car in Victory Lane at Pocono. PowerAde is the official NASCAR sponsor of Victory Lane.
Previous to Johnson's fine, NASCAR President Mike Helton warned drivers at New Hampshire not to mess with series sponsors in Victory Lane in favoritism to their personal deals.
Johnson and Gordon both have individual contracts with Pepsi-Cola Company (which owns Gatorade), the arch rival to the Coca-Cola Company (which owns PowerAde).
Any ramifications for Gordon's actions taking by the sanctioning body could come as early as Tuesday morning.