NASCAR Clash winner Jimmie Johnson feels "remorseful" for the race-critical collision with Paul Menard, who wiped out much of the field, but is adamant that it was a racing event.
Wood Brothers Ford rider Menard dominated the league's championship header until Johnson tried to overtake him for the lead 20 laps before the scheduled finish.
The contact caused Menard to turn in the wall and back into the pack. Only eight of the 20 starters still ran in the main round afterwards.
Then the rest of the race was abandoned by heavy rain, and Johnson was declared the winner.
"If you hit someone and drive out, you know what you were doing," Johnson said.
"I stopped next to another car and a wreck began.
" I will take all the blame that is to be attributed to me, but remember that it rains and how many have plate races we saw where aggressive driving gives the race to win? That's just everything I did.
"I did not try to make Paul crash, I did not drive through Paul, it was a race event."
"I am very remorseful. I'm probably more remorseful than any other rider in the field if that happens.
"I do not crash people to win races, I looked in the mirror and there were a lot of cars, and I hate that aspect, so I'm totally remorseful."
"At the same time, I have the decision to win a race and I set up the pass and positioned it clean.
"I do not know what made his car falter, and then the accident started from there."
Menard also crashed in an incident with Johnson last July at the Daytona Cup and criticized the Seven World Champions of Time drives.
"Jimmie got undressed, I went downstairs a bit, and next I knew I was going to the left back," Menard said.
"Jimmie." Do a lot on these tracks. It is unhappy.
I did not know exactly what happened until I saw a repeat.
"I felt it was an aggressive side move, I was turned in and hooked to the right and hell broke loose." Second The third placed Kurt Busch and Joey Logano both had the feeling that Johnson had triggered the crash.
"I'm sure it's not intended, but he definitely dismissed him," said Logano.
Busch's Ganassi team initially questioned NASCAR as to whether Johnson should retain the win as he believed he had taken the lead by going into the forbidden area below the double yellow line inside the track when he retired after the Contact his sliding car collected.
Although Busch Johnson felt he had been faulty, he emphasized that the instability of the cars in the current aerodynamic package for superspeedways was also a major factor.
"He stayed in this" no zone "- I call it the No Zone – in this left rear quarterpanel for far too long and it just pulled Menard around with it," Busch said.
"This is some of the instability in the design that these cars show."
"And that's why we often end up as a single file because sometimes your train is your last move because the cars are so unstable.