Brad Keselowski was making aggressive moves when he was six laps down at Talladega Superspeedway.
Some of his peers were left shaking their heads after his late-race spin collected 14 cars Sunday.
Jeff Gordon wondered how a driver who won the 2012 Sprint Cup championship can "make such silly decisions."
Matt Kenseth also was caught up in the wreck and grumbled that Keselowski was driving "really, really, really aggressively."
Keselowski, who won at Talladega two years ago, said he was a couple of yellow flags away from getting back in the race. He says you don't win on the superspeedway without being aggressive.
Keselowski also spun when he pulled in front of Danica Patrick early in the race. Neither driver pointed fingers at the other.