Alan Gustafson, Jeff Gordon's crew chief, said he feels "a little bit like a second-class citizen" after NASCAR suspended crew members and issued fines to Gustafson and another crew chief over a scuffle between drivers Brad Keselowski and Gordon.
The encounter occurred following the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday. Neither Gordon nor Keselowski, who is already on probation, were penalized.
Gustafson and Kenny Francis, the crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, were also placed on probation for six races. The two crew chiefs were hit with the largest fines, $50,000.
The suspensions will keep the crew members out for upcoming races at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"I just feel like there's a definite . . . team members aren't as important as drivers," Gustafson told FOXSports.com at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday afternoon when asked about his reaction to the penalties. "I think they made that clear. I personally feel a little bit like a second-class citizen, and I think a lot of our team members do, too. I hate [that] those guys took the brunt of it, which I don't really feel like they were responsible for, in my opinion. I don't think they went and initiated any of this, nor had that intention."
The incident happened after Gordon's car was spun out after being hit by Keselowski on lap 335. Gordon confronted Keselowski, and punches were exchanged.
Gordon said Friday that he does not plan to try to reach out to Keselowski.
Gordon fell from first to fourth in the Chase standings after finishing in 29th place, while Keselowski is in seventh place after finishing third.