Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain got into it at WWT Raceway; Hamlin hinted at further retaliation
Over the weekend, NASCAR visited WWT Raceway in the St. Louis area. It marked the first NASCAR Cup Series race at the 1.250-mile oval.
On lap 65, Ross Chastain drove it deep into turn one and lined up the rear bumper of Hamlin. The incident drew a caution as Hamlin chased his car up the track and into the wall.
From that point on, Hamlin’s race was done as his car was damaged and well off the pace. However, he wasn’t done with Chastain.
On lap 81, Hamlin waited for the 5th place running Chastain. He then forced him all the way to the apron into turn three.
He still wasn’t done. Every time Chastain went to lap Hamlin, he gave him hell. At one point, Hamlin weaved back and forth across the front stretch, making it difficult for Chastain to pass. Hamlin then brake checked Chastain in the middle of the corner.
No retaliation contact was made between the two drivers. However, in the middle of all this, Chastain also spun Chase Elliott. Elliott did retaliate, putting the bumper to Chastain in return.
After the race, Chastain put blame on himself, mostly for the incident with Elliott. Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin all but promised retaliation.
Hamlin said, “Gotta just fence these guys, hard. Just to kinda, get there attention.”
NASCAR comments on incidents with Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain
“I mean, certainly we don’t like to see things like that, but there’s a certain amount of … we kind of have to let them handle it on their own somewhat,” Miller told SiriusXM.
“And what we saw, while we were annoyed by it, there was no real contact. Neither one. I mean, they tried to make life miserable for Ross, we all witnessed that.”
“But at least we didn’t see a blatant take-out or anything like that. And it was obvious from Ross’ post-race comments that he’s made some mistakes out there and wants to make it right, but it’s kind of up to those guys to sort it out and how it moves forward from there.”
“We’ll obviously keep a close eye on them as we do in all these situations. Probably will, may have them in the trailer face to face to talk about it as we’ve done before. We have our debrief, actually just after this call of the race weekends. We do that on Tuesday mornings, and we’ll discuss that situation further and decide how we’re going to move forward with it.”
As of now, NASCAR hasn’t spoken with either driver
“We haven’t spoken to any of the parties,” Miller said.
“It’s usually better to kind of let things die down and speak to him before we hit the track again, rather than do it at the race track.”
Miller added, “We’ll do that if absolutely necessary, but in this situation where there was no sort of blatant take-out in retaliation, best to kind of let that calm down a bit, and then have a word with him later.”