"If we had to do it all over again, could it have been handled a different way?" mused Hendrick. "I don't think Jeff intended to wreck him that bad or wreck him at all; move him, let him know he didn't like it, sure didn't want to get the other cars involved."
Gordon confirmed that he had never intended for the retaliation to go the way that it actually did.
"I think everybody thinks I just intentionally went down there and wrecked him, and that's not the case," he insisted. "I wanted to make his life really miserable, and I wanted to make my car really, really wide, but I wasn't expecting him to go diving down the inside on the apron, and when he did, it caused us to hook and caused what ended up being a terrible accident.
"Afterwards, did it sit well with me knowing that that took his hopes out? No. He's also a guy I would consider a friend. There's a lot of things that didn't sit well with me after the fact," he continued. "I allowed my anger and my emotions to put me in a position to make a bad choice. I felt like that Clint needed to be dealt with, but that wasn't the right way to go about it, certainly not the right time.
"What I hate most about it is that other guys were involved with it and it affected their day," he added. "The situation got escalated because I lost control of my emotions and let that put me into a decision that obviously wasn't a good one."
Joey Logano had said that he'd tried to reach out to Gordon during the week and been hung up on. Gordon acknowledged the call, and admitted that the short conversation hadn't gone smoothly, but that he hoped to rectify the situation face-to-face over the weekend.
"I'm not one that calls right away," Gordon explained. "I like things to kind of settle down. I'd really rather do face to face, but he called me and so I called him back, and I can't say it went exactly very well. I reached out to him again to try to get together with him here at the track, and I have not been able to speak with him."
As for the object of his retaliation: "I have not spoken to Clint other than at the track on Sunday after the event in the NASCAR
hauler," he confirmed. "I've been wrecked, I've been caught up in other people's wrecks, I've been on both sides of it, all sides of it throughout all these years, and I didn't expect a phone call, I didn't expect somebody to come and spend an hour with me explaining things.
"I wrecked Martin Truex a couple years ago at Sonoma, and I was racing Juan Pablo behind me, got in the corner two deep and ran into him, completely my fault, and I reached out to him because I felt bad about it," he recalled. "You know what, he and I never spoke. I left him a voicemail, but we never spoke, never spoke at a racetrack, nothing, and we raced hard for, shoot, a year and a half of me racing him for position, sliding inside, doing everything I could not to wreck him to show him that this is how I'm going to treat you, and he raced me as hard as you can possibly race me knowing that he had that against me.
"That's kind of the way that I like to go about things. Somebody does something to me [then] I'm going to try to race them back in the same way they raced me," he explained. " If something happened by accident, then I'm going to understand that; I'm going to make them kind of pay the price for making a dumb move, but at the same time, I'm going to be as respectful as I can over the situation.
"You know, every situation is unique, and I can't control what's going to happen out there or what other guys are going to do against me this weekend, "he added. "If they're having a really bad day and feel like they have nothing to lose, then maybe they will. We'll see. I prefer it to be handled on the racetrack, though. I'm not the biggest guy in the world, and kind of one of the reasons I got into racing. We're all the same out there.