Bowyer on Gordon: “You’re never good with somebody when it got that ugly”

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – More than two years later, the wound for Clint Bowyer remains.

Once good friends with Jeff Gordon, Bowyer said Tuesday that their relationship remains strained because Gordon intentionally wrecked Bowyer at Phoenix in Nov. 2012. That led to a melee in the garage between the teams with Bowyer exiting his car on pit road and running to Gordon’s hauler. Bowyer was stopped before he could enter Gordon’s hauler.

Bowyer joked Tuesday about Gordon’s recent announcement that this would be his final full season – “He’s got one last opportunity to try to make a name for Jeff Gordon’’ – but admits that their friendship has frayed.

“You’re never good with somebody when it got that ugly,’’ Bowyer said during the NASCAR Sprint Cup media tour. “We had a lot of fun together. Jeff and I hit it off right off the bat and probably away from the track at the banquets and things like that. We really enjoyed one another and even the offseason on a couple of boating trips. It’s kind of like a divorce. You may appreciate them from time to time but at the end of the day you don’t like them any more.’’

Bowyer said he sent Gordon a text after hearing about Gordon’s announcement: “I said looking forward to having fun again with you in 2016.”