IndyCar championship leader Scott Dixon admitted he thought his race was over when he was embroiled in the dramatic first-lap crash at Portland.
The Ganassi driver ultimately extended his series lead to 29 points heading into the Sonoma finale by recovering to finish fifth despite also receiving a drivethrough penalty for pitlane speeding.
The lap-one clash (pictured above) between Zach Veach and James Hinchcliffe led to Dixon, his team-mate Ed Jones, Sebastien Bourdais and Graham Rahal colliding, while Marco Andretti was launched over Hinchcliffe's car and landed upside down.
Off-track and temporarily blinded by dust, Dixon assumed his championship bid had just taken a major hit.
"I felt like I wanted to cry for a little bit, actually," he said.
"Then once I knew the dirt cleared, I had all four wheels, still the engine was running, I'm like, 'Oh, maybe it's not so bad.'
"I knew starting where we were starting [11th] it was going to be tough.
"I had nowhere to go. It was just one of those things. I tried to slow down, went sideways, hit from behind, off in the dirt. Hit pretty hard actually.
"Luckily I pulled the clutch once the dust cleared. I didn't think there was going to be a left front wheel on it. I looked, the wheel is there. Put it in emergency mode, started to get reverse.
"There was enough room behind me, I backed up, got the guy to move his [safety team] truck out of the way.
"I couldn't believe the thing was still driving. I knew it was going to be a pretty lucky day from that point on."
Dixon said Ganassi would "have to look" at the pitlane speeding penalty as he did not believe he had released the limiter early, but was relieved that the race still unfolded in a way that allowed him to reach the top five.
"I thought we were going to get lapped," he said of the moment he was penalised.
"Luckily the pit sequence had already started for the leaders at that point too, so it enabled us to stay on the lead lap.
"We got lucky with the caution [for Santino Ferrucci stopping]. Crazy, crazy day."
Although Dixon was passed for fourth by Spencer Pigot after the final restart, he still finished three places ahead of primary title rival Alexander Rossi.
"We were able to salvage a fifth with a pretty beat-up car," said Dixon.
"One of those days you definitely have to take as one hugely lucky day."