Martin Truex Jr. criticized Jeff Gordon for ruining his day after the Hendrick driver spun him around while running in the top 10 on Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway.
Following the second restart of the race, Gordon went too deep under braking for the final turn, clipping the right rear corner of Truex, who ran as high as third shortly before the incident.
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver was able to rejoin but was later involved in a multi-car wreck on the start-finish stretch following the next restart, being forced to retire on the spot with massive damage to his Toyota.
Truex stated: "Getting spun out there on that restart is what put us in the back there. We should have never been in that position. We've been running up front all day long with a great car... We had a shot at running top-three or four and maybe we had a shot at winning if the thing played right.
"I guess Jeff [Gordon] figured he couldn't catch us on the racetrack so he was going to spin us out on the restart."
"...He was six, seven car-lengths behind me coming into [Turn] 11, and I didn't think I had anything to worry about. The next thing I know I'm spun around. If he's a car length or two back, yeah you take your defensive line, you prepare for him trying to dive-bomb me, but he was seven car lengths back! There's no way he should have been where he was."
Before his clash with Truex, Gordon had also clipped the rear of NASCAR debutant Mattias Ekstrom's Red Bull Toyota into Turn 7, sending him into Roush Fenway's David Ragan, who ended up spinning.
In the closing laps, the four-time champion also got into the rear of Penske Racing's Kurt Busch, cutting his right-rear tire and costing him a strong finish, while Greg Biffle also accused him of pushing him off the track.
Following the race, Gordon said he understood Truex being mad at him and anticipates being justifiably on the receiving end of him in the future. He said that while running behind Truex, Earnhardt Ganassi's Juan Pablo Montoya was also putting the pressure on him.
"He should be [upset], you know, and whatever is coming back to me, I understand," Gordon said. "When you blatantly get into a guy like that, you can say you are sorry all you want and I certainly had no intentions on what happened with him.
"I had the No. 42 [Montoya] behind me dive bombing me into the braking zone and where I made a mistake is trying to out-brake him. I will try and explain that to Martin. I feel terrible because Martin races me and a lot of guys clean out there. He had a good run going and I ruined that for him."
Despite such an eventful race, Gordon was able to claim fifth in the end, allowing him to move up two places in the standings to fifth place.