Jeff Gordon looked like an out-of-control rookie at Sonoma, but it somehow resulted in a fifth-place run and a successful day.
Using what seemed like an approach of bump first, apologize later, Gordon admitted he was overly aggressive but said, "After they started doing it to me, I had to do it to others."
Gordon apologized about some incidents several times – particularly about the Martin Truex Jr. spin.
"There are some things that I'm not proud of that I did today; certainly with Martin," he said. "I mean, I completely messed that up and I will try to patch that up. Other things that happened out there were just really hard racing incidents."
Several other drivers felt they were victims of Gordon's aggression, including Kurt Busch, Elliott Sadler and Clint Bowyer.
"I made a lot of guys mad today," he said. "...You just had to race so hard there at the end. Guys were just running people off the racetrack. Running into the back of them. It was like being on a short, dirt track.
"I know we've made a lot of people mad. It tore our race car up and we never had a shot of winning after that but, a lot of guys didn't finish in the top five like we did either, so oh well."
Gordon may have been sincerely apologetic several times about the Truex incident, but not so much about contact he made with Kurt Busch.
"Kurt Busch had everything coming to him that I gave him because he gave it to me on the restart before that, so I don't feel sorry about that," he said. "I certainly do (feel bad) with Martin. With Elliott, I feel bad. I was racing him hard, he was blocking me but he was trying to race somebody else, too. That was probably my fault as well."
Gordon's fifth-place finish moved him up two spots to fifth in the standings.