Greg Biffle regrets yanking Jimmie Johnson by collar

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Although he’s still angry, Greg Biffle regrets grabbing Jimmie Johnson by the collar following Sunday’s race at Martinsville.

Greg Biffle isn't apologetic about confronting Jimmie Johnson following Sunday's NASCAR race at Martinsville Speedway. But in hindsight, Biffle wishes he hadn't grabbed Johnson by the collar and yanked him around.

"I probably should have grabbed him by the arm maybe and voiced my displeasure," Biffle said Tuesday. "... I should have handled that a little differently with Jimmie. I didn't realize he was in the middle of his interview.  ... I should have maybe waited till he was done and then had my conversation with him in private with no cameras or media around."

But Biffle stands by the words and the feelings he expressed to Johnson during the confrontation.

His anger stems from a run-in the two had that saw Johnson make contact with the rear of Biffle's car, ripping his rear bumper cover off. Unhappy with having to make an unscheduled pit stop and the loss of valuable track position, Biffle accosted Johnson post-race on pit road while he was in the middle of interviews.

He posted an apology on Twitter Sunday night. However, as he explained Tuesday, it wasn't meant for Johnson, but instead his fans.

"The biggest thing was I was getting a lot of hate mail on Twitter from all the 48 fans about the way I reacted," Biffle said. "So I was apologizing to the fans, not Jimmie Johnson at that point. My apology to Jimmie Johnson was on the telephone. I know that's old-fashioned, a lot of people don't do that anymore."

Johnson had told Biffle he was inside of him and couldn't have hit him flush in the rear. But after reviewing the incident, the Roush Fenway Racing driver says that isn't true, and that the No. 48 car did in fact hit him square, causing considerable damage.

Biffle described himself as "furious" when he approached Johnson. His No. 16 Ford was among the quickest cars on the track and had been running in the top 10. Instead, he had to drop to the back of the field, and had to charge just to finish ninth.

"We had a great car," Biffle said. "Nobody knows this, but we had the fastest car the last 65 laps of that race.

"The other misconception was that everybody said, ‘You should be mad at the 88 [Dale Earnhard Jr.], he ripped your bumper off.' "We came in and fixed it and started at the back. The 48 car ran square in the back of my car, not inside of me, like his claim when I came up and talked to him about it."

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