While Dale Earnhardt Jr was quick to hit out at Brian Vickers for his part in the ten-car wreck that hit the Daytona 500, there was little surprise to see Vickers take an alternative view on the most controversial incident on the NASCAR Sprint Cup opener.
The pair were dicing for the lucky dog – the free pass handed out to the top driver not on the lead lap during a caution period – when they clashed on the back straight on lap 124, shortly after the race had gone green following a blow-out for Penske Racing's David Stremme.
Earnhardt tried to make a move on the inside of Vickers' Toyota, but the Red Bull man moved down the circuit to defend his position and forced Junior towards the yellow line. As Earnhardt then moved back up the track, he clipped the rear of Vickers' car and tipped him into a spin in front of the field.
A further eight cars were then caught up in the wreck, including long-time leader Kyle Busch, with Vickers amongst the drivers forced to retire.
Earnhardt meanwhile finished the race in 28th place having escaped a penalty, something Vickers didn't agree with.
"I really hate it for the Red Bull guys,” he said. “We had a good car all day. We're all racing for the 'lucky dog' there and my goal was to keep Jr. behind me and I went to block him - I beat him to the yellow line and then he just turned us.
“He hit me the first time on the way down, which is fine, we all do that. Then when he came back up he just hooked me in the left rear, and typically NASCAR penalises. I think the #38 (Jason Leffler) was penalised five laps yesterday for doing the same thing [during the Nationwide Series race]. I guess they're not going to penalise him for it. It's kind of sad.
“To wreck somebody intentionally like that in front of the entire field is really kind of dangerous. That's my biggest problem with it, but apparently he wanted a caution pretty bad."
Vickers also denied that he had done anything untoward on track and had simply been defending his position.
"I think I was doing what I had to do,” he said. “The #42 [Juan Pablo Montoya] blocked me and Jr. blocked the guy behind him to get a run on me. That's superspeedway racing. You watch your mirror, you try to keep the guy behind you behind you. My goal is not to let him pass me.
“People blocked me the whole race. When I'd go to pass they'd turn left and try to keep me behind them - that's part of superspeedway racing. I don't just hook them in the left rear and turn them in front of the field. I don't think that's an excuse to do that. Everybody has their own opinion I guess."