Greg Biffle climbed from his car and took a couple steps toward the door of his Roush Fenway Racing team's transporter.
He turned back and looked up at the Daytona International Speedway scoring pylon. The No. 16, which had a chance to be on top just minutes earlier, was instead nowhere to be found.
Biffle gritted his teeth.
"Damn it," he said quietly.
After watching the last lap of Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 four times in the transporter lounge, the 21st-place Biffle emerged with little ammunition with which he could defend himself from those who blamed him for causing a big wreck in the final turn.
"It looks like it's mostly my fault," he said.
Here's what happened, according to Biffle:
• Biffle was shoving teammate Matt Kenseth, and the duo suddenly caught eventual race winner Tony Stewart. Kenseth went up the track to get past Stewart, and that broke the tandem's momentum.
"I had to quit pushing (Kenseth) because I'd turn him, and I couldn't move up because (Kasey Kahne) was outside of me," Biffle said.
• Right at that moment, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano shoved Kevin Harvick, who somehow shot down into the bottom hole. Biffle didn't anticipate Harvick's move and wasn't aware the No. 29 car was there when he came down the track.
"You look at the replay, he's sideways down on the apron, comes back up, and I don't know how he got in there, but he did," Biffle said. "I just never thought he'd be there."
Harvick – who finished 23rd – was none too pleased with Biffle after the race. The Richard Childress Racing driver walked to the No. 16 car, leaned into the window and asked Biffle what the deal was.
"He came over and was like, 'What happened, man? I was clear up to your door!'" Biffle said. "By the time we made contact, he was – but he wasn't when I started coming down. When I started coming down, he was just barely in there."
It was simply a split-second decision gone wrong, Biffle said, albeit a costly one for many drivers.
"That's what it's like going for it on the last lap," he said. "It sucks we all end up wrecked."