I lost respect for Clint Bowyer

Yesterday, at the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Phoenix, there was a wreck between race car drivers Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon.  Apparently there had been some bad blood between the two of them – something to do with a wreck between the two drivers a few races ago, and then at the race yesterday Bowyer drove close enough to Gordon to cut one of Gordon’s tires down.  Gordon slowed down, and NASCAR actually told him to get off the track because he wasn’t maintaining a minimum race speed.

Well, the reason Jeff Gordon wasn’t maintaining a minimum race speed was because Gordon was waiting for Clint Bowyer to come back around the track, so that Gordon could run into Bowyer and wreck the car.

After the race, there was a melee in the pit area, to the point where some of Clint Bowyer’s pit crew went after Jeff Gordon – then Jeff Gordon’s pit crew and Clint Bowyer’s pit crew started fighting with each other in a brawl not seen since the night when Biff and the Jets met Nardo and the Sharks.

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After the race, Clint Bowyer talked to the media, and expressed his displeasure for the actions of the four-time NASCAR Cup champion.

In the post-race interview, Bowyer talked about the race, he talked about how his crew chief alerted him that Jeff Gordon was lying in wait for possible retaliation against Bowyer.  And I’m quoting here from the Yahoo! sports blog, and it was repeated in USA Today, but I’m sure there are other transcripts that will reinforce these quotes.

“It’s just a shame, man.  The last thing you want to get into anything with is Jeff Gordon. I didn’t even need to pass him. All I was doing was biding my time. For him to act like that, I barely touched him. It makes us all look like a bunch of retards. It’s pretty embarrassing, and not what you expect from a four-time champion and what I consider one of the best the sport’s ever seen.”

Read that quote again.  “It makes us all look like a bunch of retards.”

Retards?  Really, Clint?  You had to go there?

I said it two years ago and I’ll say it again.  Using “retard” as a description of someone, with the emphasis that you’re describing them as brain-damaged sub-human Mongoloids, is equal parts classless, tasteless and thoughtless.

Tell me, Clint. In your opinion, and obviously this would be YOUR opinion, how does a person “drive like a retard,” as opposed to driving like a moron or a spazzmo or a bonkbrain? Huh?

Trust me on this. I remember kids in grade school who thought it was a laff ryott to repurpose the name of Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center as sing-along lyrics to the “March of the Winkies” song in The Wizard of Oz. Yep, the kids used to sing, “Oh DEE Heck…. OOOOHHHH deee…. Oh DEE Heck… OOOOHHHH deee….” Sixth grade bathroom humor that should have stayed in the bathroom.

Maybe Clint Bowyer doesn’t remember that every year, he and every other NASCAR Sprint Cup driver participates in a race in Dover, Delaware called the Autism Speaks 400? A race that has been on the NASCAR circuit since 2007, and is so named to benefit and to support those who suffer from autism spectrum disorder?

Look, I understand that Clint Bowyer said words out of emotion and out of anger and out of frustration. When Jeff Gordon wrecked Clint in yesterday’s race, it eliminated any mathematical chance Clint had of winning the NASCAR Spring Cup championship. I understand it.

That doesn’t mean I forgive him for saying it. Clint Bowyer may be a successful NASCAR driver, and at some point in his lifetime he may win a championship in the sport.

But as a human being… he’s got a lot to learn.

And until then… all he is to me is just another guy who can turn left at 190 miles per hour.

UPDATE: I understand that Clint Bowyer has apologized on Twitter for using the word “retard” in yesterday’s post-race interview. Sorry, Clint. Maybe if you donated your entire payout for the season-ending race in Homestead to an organization like Autism Speaks… that would be a larger act of contrition. Just saying is all.