Punches fly between 2 NASCAR stars after losing race

Brad Keselowski is doing everything he can for a chance at another NASCAR championship. No matter how angry he makes other drivers.

Jeff Gordon was fighting mad at Texas, leading to a post-race confrontation with Keselowski and a big melee. Gordon's shot at a huge playoff victory got wiped out after hard contact during extra laps Sunday.

"It's his disregard for what's going on out there," said Gordon, the four-time champion who in an earlier live postrace television interview used an expletive in referring to Keselowski. "He made an over-aggressive move. Those are moves you find if you've got a slamming, banging race. He cut my left rear tire. That was it for me. It's a real shame."

After spinning out, losing a lap in the pits and finishing 29th, Gordon became the second competitor in four races during the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship to confront 2012 champ Keselowski after the checkered flag.

Fireworks exploded in the sky, and on pit road, while Gordon teammate Jimmie Johnson celebrated his third consecutive victory in the Texas fall race.

Gordon was leading on a restart on Lap 335, one more than the race's scheduled length, when he took the outside line. When the No. 24 car drifted up a bit, Keselowski pushed through the gap before the contact.

"By the time it closed up, I was committed, and I stayed in it. That almost won me the race," said an unapologetic Keselowski, who finished third.

"I'm doing everything I can to win this championship, racing at 100 percent. That's something I'm not going to be ashamed for."

At Charlotte Motor Speedway last month, it was Matt Kenseth who lost his cool and attacked Keselowski.

Gordon stopped his car right by Keselowski after the Texas race, and there were plenty of punches thrown. NASCAR officials were in the middle of crew members and others around Keselowski's No. 2 car.

It seemed the only contact among drivers was when Kevin Harvick shoved Keselowski into the fracas, and Gordon briefly appeared to grab hold of Keselowski's firesuit.

"I just turned him around and told him to go fight his own fight," Harvick said.

Keselowski's face was puffy, and he took a couple quick drinks of water to wash the blood from his mouth. Gordon was left with a cut on his lip.

"I couldn't even tell you what happened," said Keselowski, who confirmed he was hit by someone. "Just a melee of people."

All the punches thrown appeared to come from crew members - including a member of Gordon teammate Kasey Kahne's team who appeared to land several shots on Keselowski from behind.

NASCAR will review the brawl and penalties could be issued during the week. Keselowski was fined $50,000 for his behavior at Charlotte, but Kenseth escaped penalty because he did not throw any punches when he jumped Keselowski from behind.

Robin Pemberton, NASCAR senior vice president of competition and racing development, indicated he had no problem with the hard racing in Texas. He might have a different take on what happened after the race.

"Everybody gets together, and when you're holding on to each other and grabbing and this, that and the other, it's one thing," Pemberton said. "When punches are landed, that's a different scenario."

"Jeff just got a really good start the restart before and got control of the race," Johnson said.

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