Entering Saturday's Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, JR Motorsports' Regan Smith was 39 points out of the XFINITY Series championship lead, looking for big things out of the road-course event.
However, Smith's day did not go as planned -- and he knew just who to blame.
Restarting in the third position on Lap 41 of 82, Smith drove into Turn 1 on the restart but was hit hard in the right rear by the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ty Dillon. The contact sent Smith's No. 7 Chevrolet spinning, dropping him back to 29th.
After making his way back through the field, Smith made contact with another RCR car, this time the No. 62 of Brendan Gaughan. The contact through the carousel sent Smith's car spinning into the inside wall to bring out the sixth caution of the day with 16 laps to go.
Bringing the car home in the 20th spot, Smith was frustrated with the RCR teammates and let his displeasure be known after the race. Climbing from his car on pit road, Smith first walked over to Gaughan's car and stuck his head in the window to discuss the incident.
Walking away after saying his piece, Smith then made his way down to Dillon's car.
Smith walked up to Dillon, who was standing leisurely next to his car, grabbed Dillon's firesuit and got in the RCR driver's face. The incident escalated quickly as the two drivers began shoving each other and trying to fight as crew members and NASCAR officials stepped in to separate them.
Dillon accepted blame for the incident in Turn 1, but said he would not back down from the veteran Smith.
"He didn't say much," Dillon said after cooler heads prevailed. "He said he's going to wreck me, but we'll see. I hate that for his guys. It was a mistake and my fault. Honestly, I was going to talk to him about it, but I guess he didn't want to talk. If he wants to do that, we'll handle it in the bus lot. I'm not afraid.
"I took full blame for it, but coming down here and picking a fight is a different game," he said. "I'll give whatever you want."
With both drivers involved in a championship battle, Smith vowed Dillon and the No. 3 team would not win the XFINITY Series title if he has anything to do with it.
"I got dumped in Turn 1, I think it's pretty plain and simple," Smith said after walking away from Dillon. "I don't think I was the only one he dumped today. It's disappointing for (sponsor) TaxSlayer and all the guys at JR Motorsports that work really hard on these race cars.
"I guarantee you, I may have lost the championship today, but he sure as hell did, too," Smith said of Dillon. "There is zero chance that 3 car wins this championship, and I'm going to make sure of it."
Smith found no solace in the fact Dillon took blame for the incident, saying Dillon got the better end of the deal in finishing fifth.
"Of course he did, he came out of all of them unscathed," he said. "I'd take responsibility, as well, if I knew the car was back there in 30th place and out of my way. You don't have to worry about it when you do that."