Ross Chastain was left lamenting his self-described “aggressive” move coming to the white flag in the Daytona 500 which left him spinning through the field.

Off Turn 4, the Trackhouse Racing driver had a run on leader William Byron in the outside lane that Byron moved to protect. But with the momentum, Chastain cut to the left while Austin Cindric was being hit by Corey LaJoie and moving to the right. Chastain and Cindric collided and spun through the grass to bring out the caution that ended the race.

Byron was declared the winner as Chastain was checked and released from the infield care center. Chastain admitted he wanted to go to the middle as Byron moved toward the top to cover the run, but he also didn’t want to run into the back of Byron.

“That was the last thing I wanted to do, so I was going to have to stop,” Chastain said. “I saw the 8 and the 6 try in their duel and they couldn’t get stopped. I didn’t know if I could, and I took the gap. I don’t apologize for that.

“I can go to sleep tonight knowing I took the white flag making the move to win the Daytona 500. Four years ago, it was with eight laps to go or something. I got it down to one lap to go and, yeah… too aggressive though, when you don’t finish.”

Chastain was credited with a 21st-place after leading 14 laps. He led nine of the final 13 laps after cycling to the race lead after the final round of green flag pit stops.

“I am,” Chastain said of being content with how he raced. “To learn the fuel-savings game and really get aggressive and match these guys so we can pit when we need to; I’ve burned up too much fuel in the past couple of races, and to put ourselves in position with the final pit stop to come out with the lead, cover the other OEM when they caught up to us, and work with some legends in the sport, and have control of the race at the end.

“I know the top is the logical thing and it makes sense – when the third lane split up, it just pulls us back, and we still had a shot. I do feel content. It’s weird to say it, but we did everything right, and I just was too aggressive when I turned left and should have waited, maybe, longer.”

It was even too aggressive, Chastain felt, when trying to win the Daytona 500.

“When you crash, I think so,” he said. “I do. Ultimately, my turning left self-spun myself and took out the 2 and maybe other people, I’m not sure. I’m happy for William and Chevy and General Motors to win. It was really awesome for us to control some of those cycles with green flag pit cycles, really kicked their butts, so that was really cool. And then to have a bunch of Chevys left at the end there made me feel good.

“Alex pushed me there at the end and I felt like there was minimal chance a Chevy wasn’t going to win, and one (of them) got it done. But too aggressive is when I don’t finish.”