A fired-up Martin Truex Jr. said he was still angry about being wrecked by Jeff Gordon in the Sonoma race last week and promised to change his ways in the future as a result.
Truex said the Sonoma incident with Gordon was his breaking point and that he was "tired of being the nice guy."
"(I'm) tired of getting pushed around," he said. "I'm not going to stand here and say, ‘Well, I'm just going to go out and wreck Jeff,' because that's not me, that's not how I do things. But some things are gonna change.
"I'm not going to take it anymore. I'm going to race him the way he races me, I'm going to race everyone else on the track the way they race me. If they don't respect me, they're not going to get anything back."
Truex said he didn't feel any differently about what happened a week later, even after Gordon called and left an apology voicemail (Truex didn't call back).
"I accept his apology, yeah, but things are going to change between me and him," Truex said. "That's just the bottom line.
"I know Jeff understands that. He told me when he apologized he understands I'm mad, he knows he's got one coming. You know? I'm sure he's been in this position before, too."
Truex said he's especially upset because he's always tried to race respectfully. Like Mark Martin, Truex views himself as the kind of driver who will move over for a faster car in the middle of the race and provide plenty of racing room.
But Gordon isn't that kind of driver, Truex said. Gordon races like it's for the win during the middle of the race and for those who don't get out of his way in time, Truex said, "He's the first guy to hang his middle finger out window when he goes by you."
"Things are going to change," Truex promised again.
"I haven't seen much respect on the racetrack all year, to be honest with you," he said. "Guys take advantage of you every chance they get. The field is so close. The clean air situation, every spot means so much and there's so much pressure on us to get what we can get, I think guys just cross the line too much.
"I don't know what the answers are to fix that, I just know how I'm going to do it, and I'm going to do what everybody does to me every week."
Prior to the Gordon incident, Truex was getting closer to being back in a Chase spot again. But after the wreck ended his day, Truex fell 19th in points – and still seems disgusted over it.
"It doesn't matter how we got there, everybody looks at us and says you're still 19th," he said. "And that's very, very frustrating. Nobody understands how difficult that is to deal with. And that's what we deal with each week."
That's why Truex said he's done being Mr. Nice Guy.
"We have nothing to lose from this point," he said.