What Jeff Gordon Says About Sonoma Race, One Week Later

Jeff Gordon's overly aggressive driving at Sonoma was a hot topic at New Hampshire on Friday, as many drivers were asked about what they thought of Gordon's actions and the apparent lack of respect among all drivers this season.

As for Gordon? Here's what the four-time Cup champ had to say for himself:

"(For drivers who want to pay me back), I think you're going to have to get in line. We left the racetrack with quite a few guys upset at us for good reason. It was intense racing and some mistakes on my part and hey, when you make those kinds of decisions and those things happen, then you've got to deal with them. It might be this weekend, it might be for the next several weeks, it might be years down the road. Who knows? You've just got to go with it and that's what we'll do.

"The thing with Martin (Truex Jr.), I don't have any excuses. Yeah, I was racing with Juan Pablo (Montoya) hard, but I just made a mistake there. But the other instances were just really hard racing and just because of that intensity you have to push, push, push and when you push like that and you're three-wide and guys are sliding off the track and pushing you off the track and going three-wide on a road course, a lot is going to happen. There wasn't a corner of my car left that didn't have damage.

"There are different reasons for everybody to choose when to be aggressive and when not to be aggressive. ... I go through every race in my mind when it's all over and go through every lap and every decision and look at the good ones as well as the bad ones. And I try not to make the same mistakes twice. That's something that I pride myself in and work very hard at.

"I think when you intentionally run into some guy for no reason, then that's one thing. My incident with Martin had nothing to do with Martin. I wasn't even racing Martin, really. I was racing Juan Pablo at the time. And so that's what caused me to make the mistake that got me into Martin, but it still was uncalled for. I saw a lot of stuff going on.

"Those restarts, they're intense. I know there was one time with Boris Said was up there and he just didn't have the grip, you know? He just wasn't able to get up and get going. And it started stacking everybody up behind him. And when that happened, guys were just shoving people off the track and going in there three-wide and just doing crazy things.

"To me, I've just come to realize that's Sonoma in the closing laps. Especially now with double-file restarts it just make it even that much more intense. And that's just the acceptance that you have to have now on short tracks and most tracks and these road courses.

"None of us, as competitors, go into it going, 'Boy, yeah, wouldn't it be great to have double-file restarts and three green-white-checkereds at Sonoma?' That's for the fans. That's for the excitement. We accept it because we want what's best for the sport. If that's what's going to bring the most excitement in this sport, great. We'll deal with it. But it's not always something that you wish for. But it's just something you have to deal with and accept.

"I've been dealing with it with (Matt) Kenseth for a long time. Like I said when I get in here, get in line! I've been racing a long time; there are a lot of them out there. I've said this before, I'm not out there to make friends, but I'm also not out there to make enemies. I felt like I've been pretty good about that over the years, at not having any enemies. It's because I race clean; I do.

"Has intensity gone up for me? Yeah, it has. It's just because that's what the sport demands today. It demands more than that. You can tell back in the day, with Earnhardt, well he did it that way, but I didn't. I didn't. I did it different in those days and it's because you had to be consistent over the full season to win the championship. In the new format with the double-file restarts especially and all, you just have to be more aggressive. When you're more aggressive, people are going to get upset."

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