P. Diddy: Peacemaker for Bowyer, Gordon?
January 10, 2013, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The latest chapter in the feud between drivers Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon involves a hip-hop superstar, a yacht, a Caribbean getaway -- and questions over whether they’re still feuding.
Gordon and Bowyer found themselves in the same place, and in the most exotic of locations, on New Year’s Eve, when they both attended a party aboard P. Diddy’s boat on the island of St. Bart’s. By all accounts the meeting was cordial, even if there are no indications that they’ve resolved their disagreements stemming from a crash last November in Phoenix.
“I was on the damndest boat you've ever seen in your life,” Bowyer said Thursday during Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway. “I'm from Kansas. We don't have big boats in Kansas. We don't have very big bodies of water, so I think he was on that same boat, but there was a lot of other people on there and it was a big time being had. Yes, he was on there and I think it was on the same island. I'm pretty sure (Gordon) was on there. It was pretty late. Put it that way.”
Both drivers, though, danced around whether they had put their feud behind them. Seeking revenge for an on-track incident that had occurred months earlier, Gordon lingered on the race track and crashed Bowyer in the penultimate event of the 2012 season. The action earned Gordon a $100,000 fine and 25-point penalty from NASCAR, and ignited a scuffle between the two crews in the garage area.
Tensions between the two drivers were evident even a month later at Champions Week in Las Vegas, where Bowyer and Gordon rarely interacted. Did they make up on New Year's Eve in St. Bart's?
"Yeah, we held hands and walked on the boat and discussed the past year and enjoyed ourselves throughout the whole vacation,” Bowyer said sarcastically. “That was the one person that I definitely wanted to vacation with. I couldn't wait to get there for that very reason."
Gordon said his family has been spending New Year’s on the island for several years. He heard Bowyer and Kevin Harvick were there on a chartered boat that belongs to his car owner, Rick Hendrick, so he stopped by to say hello. Gordon didn’t find the other two drivers then -- but did later when he and his wife Ingrid were rubbing shoulders with other celebrities aboard Oasis, P. Diddy’s $72 million, 194-foot yacht.
“It was the party of the year, if you ask me,” Gordon said. “It was an amazing event that P. Diddy had. We’re just hanging out having a good time, and in walk Bowyer and Harvick and a couple of other folks. I don’t know. It was a good New Year’s. I enjoyed myself very much.”
But did they end the feud? That much remains to be seen.
“We talked,” Gordon said. “We talked. I had a great New Year’s.”