Ross Chastain: “This one’s so different.”
There’s a feud building in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Last month, Ross Chastain put Denny Hamlin in the wall at WWT Raceway while battling inside the top 10. Hamlin responded by becoming a very different lap car for Chastain to pass.
After that incident, Chastain took full blame. He was hard on himself stating, “I need to do better.”
There’s 36 cars that race every week. Roughly 30 of those drivers are in every race. With hundreds of laps, week after week, it’s hard to get away from your history. And when the history continues to build…
Over the weekend, Chastain spun Hamlin at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This time, Chastain got tight under Hamlin, went up the banking and spun out the No. 11.
The incident happened late in the race. And to make it worse for Hamlin, he was hooked by Christopher Bell directly after the incident with Chastain.
Hamlin spent most of the day in the top 10. Chastain battled back to the top 10 after being multiple laps down following an early race incident with Martin Truex Jr.
After the race, Hamlin stopped just short of saying retaliation is on the way. Instead he worded it as, “It all works out in the end.”
Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Austin Dillon and Aric Almirola were the list of known drivers who were angry toward Chastain. That’s from the race at Atlanta alone.
Ross Chastain comments on the Atlanta Motor Speedway incident with Hamlin
“This one’s so different because I had so much damage,” Chastain said in a post-race interview.
“Y’all know that I would take full responsibility if I just ran into him. I had so much damage, I was so much tighter, we had done a lot to free the car up and it was just way too tight. And I just couldn’t carry the throttle I could earlier and I still lifted some but it wasn’t enough.”
“But I don’t put this one anywhere near the other incidents.”
“We had a lot of damage to repair and get it turning again,” said Chastain. “And we had to completely shift the balance of the car. … I should have lifted more and just slid up and was tight. I knew I was gonna be tight, it was just down to the end and I just overestimated the grip level and was sliding. And his left-rear is what caught me.”
“I truly hate it for those guys and him,” Chastain said.
Chastain added, “I’ve gotten to know him a lot better the last few weeks. … We’ve got a relationship now where I can talk to him, I’ve got his phone number now. I definitely will [reach out to him] and keep working towards a better relationship there.”