HAMPTON, Ga. – During the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, Ross Chastain’s driving style has drawn the ire of fellow drivers.
That continued on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the Quaker State 400.
Chastain, who at the end of the race had battled to finish second, drew heat for a pair of separate run-ins in which his No. 1 car had a role in incidents with that of Austin Dillon and, later, Denny Hamlin.
The second-stage, nine-car wreck ended the day for Dillon, who as a result has failed to finish both races at the new version of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“It’s just unfortunate,” Dillon said. “It seems like every week, he is part of something. They’ve gotten a lot of praise this year because they have been pretty good, and it seems like he’s in something every week.”
Hamlin, who vowed to at some point deal some payback following a run-in between the two drivers in June at Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway, sustained damage in the final stage following contact from the inside of his car going into the third turn.
“We were in a pretty good position but got taken out,” Hamlin said as he walked from his car to the garage following Sunday’s race.
Chastain, however, drew a firm line in that contact as opposed to instances earlier in the season. He pointed out that his car had sustained earlier damage during a nine-car incident near the race’s midpoint that he battled back from, thus impacting the car’s handling.
“This one is so different because I had so much damage. You all know I would take full responsibility if I just ran into him, but I had so much damage and was so much tighter,” Chastain said. “We had done a lot to free the car up. It was just way too tight and I couldn’t carry the throttle that I carried earlier. I could have lifted some, but it wasn’t enough. I don’t put this one anywhere near the others.”
That was little solace to Hamlin.
“I don’t know, everyone has different tolerance levels,” Hamlin said. “But, as you guys know, I’ve reached my peak.”
About the author
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.