Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer have a history together. Since Bowyer joined Fox full-time for its NASCAR coverage this season, the network has played up that rivalry. On Sunday, during the pre-race show before the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on the Daytona road course, Fox took it to another level in a segment where the two drivers raced each other around the road course layout to see who could make it to the broadcast booth first.
The whole bit was hilarious as the pair drove two older rental cars and banged on each other the entire trip around the track, spinning each other out a couple of times. While both drivers thoroughly enjoyed the Days of Thunder-like experience, the fun took a frightening turn at one point when one of the vehicles caught on fire.
Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer have a history together
After years of racing hard against each other on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit, Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer’s rivalry came to a head in 2012. Earlier that season at Martinsville, Bowyer wrecked Gordon and his teammate Jimmie Johnson late in a race when the two were running first and second, effectively ending their chances at victory.
Late in the season at Phoenix, Gordon got his payback. Bowyer, who was third in the season standings and vying for the championship, cut one of Gordon’s tires late in the race and sent him into the wall. Gordon took out his revenge just a few laps later when he hooked Bowyer’s right rear, sending him up the track into the wall and ending his chance at the title.
When the race was over, Jeff Gordon pulled into the pit road area and exited his car. Moments later, a member of Clint Bowyer’s pit crew shoved Gordon from behind, and chaos ensued.
The pit crews for both drivers brawled for several minutes. Bowyer realized something was amiss when he pulled up to his area in the pits and no one was there. He immediately sprinted toward the action. NASCAR officials intervened when he arrived and prevented any further altercations.
Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer have chemistry on Fox
With that incident as the foundation, Fox has played up the rivalry between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer since the network announced Bowyer was joining Gordon and Mike Joy in the broadcast booth full-time for the 2021 NASCAR season.
Before the start of the season, Fox ran a commercial promoting the new broadcast trio and the spot mimicked the two drivers’ careers—Bowyer and his 10 Cup wins in constant pursuit of Gordon and his 93 wins and four Cup titles.
Since the pair have been in the booth, it’s been much of the same, with Bowyer always jokingly playing second fiddle to Gordon. To the network and both drivers’ credit, it has worked. Social media has been abuzz with fans raving about how Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer do so well feeding off each other during the race call.
Fox skit goes wrong when driver’s car catches fire
On Sunday during the pre-race show, Fox created a Days of Thunder parody skit built around the Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer rivalry that started with both drivers offering pre-race analysis with Chris Myers down on the track. When it was time to head up to the booth and call the race with Mike Joy, both men jumped in a pair of older rental cars conveniently located nearby for a race around the track.
Hilarity ensued as both drivers repeatedly slammed into each other as they made their way around the road course, each driver spinning out the other. At one point, when the cars reached the main speedway, Gordon delivered a jolting blow to Bowyer.
The two finished the race and sprinted up to the booth, the true winner unclear. However, what was clear is the NASCAR drivers had done serious damage to the rental cars. Mike Joy mentioned that Fox had planned on auctioning off both cars for charity, but “one of them caught fire and there’s not enough left.”
Bowyer later confirmed the incident and then described what happened to his outfit when they tried to extinguish the flames.
“Jeff’s car caught fire,” Bowyer said. “When we lifted hood to put it out, the water hose was melted and sprayed antifreeze all over it.”
Even in a skit with a real accident, Jeff Gordon got the best of Clint Bowyer.