Race Weekend Central

Happy Hour: Is Ross Chastain the Next Dale Earnhardt?

On the second episode of Frontstretch Happy Hour, Trey Lyle, Dalton Hopkins, Michael Massie and Tom Bowles debate whether Ross Chastain is the 2023 version of Dale Earnhardt.

Also discussed is the safety of the Next Gen car after the crash at Talladega Superspeedway between Kyle Larson and Ryan Preece. The guys also create their dream mock trades of drivers from team to team.

Listen on all platforms.

About the author

Trey Lyle
Podcast Manager

A Graduate of Virginia Tech in Sports Media and Analytics, Trey Lyle has been covering NASCAR since 2021 as the producer of the Fast Lane with Ed Lane on VTRN Sports 93.3 FM in Lynchburg, Va.

Trey joined FS in 2023 to cohost Happy Hour and help out on the podcast front as the producer for Brining the Heat with Bryan Nolen. Now, he oversees the entire podcast operation for Frontstretch.


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Kurt Smith

There will never be another Dale Earnhardt or a Jeff Gordon. NASCAR has been taking every step possible to ensure no driver stands out from the pack anymore.


I made a number of pre season predictions, during the off season about how teams would perform.
I thought Justin Marks had it all figured out, & that his teams would out perform ’22. So far I had it wrong, they are significantly underperforming. Don’t know if his side projects are a distraction, or what. But they’re going to have to get it in gear to even equal last year.

Be that as it may, Chastain will be a major player for years to come.

But love him, or hate him, no one will ever be the new Dale Sr.


nope no one will ever be dale sr. you’ll have take no prisoner drivers, but they didn’t work their way up through the ranks like sr did as well as work in factory during the day. yes chastain is a watermelon farmer, but dale just had something that no one else will have. he was a voice for the drivers with nascar as well. i think with the cars the drivers run now it will not allow any one driver to push the limits of legality like they did when earnhardt sr raced. also now if you get caught cheating with any part of the car you suffer dire consequences that will kill your chances at making it to the playoffs.

you can’t compare when sr raced to what they’re racing now. entirely different ballgame.

Last edited 1 year ago by janice

When drivers aren’t aggressive, people complain. When they are aggressive, people complain. As far as drivers, it seems like Nascar is full of complainers these days. Everyone wants to drive like they have no fenders. Ross saw an opportunity and tried to take advantage of it. It didn’t work. A couple of years ago it was Stenhouse that was the bad guy.


That was a ridiculous question and you know it!


Ross Chastain is more of the “next Ernie Irvan”. Talented driver, wins races, but drives a bit wild.


Good words on Ross👍


I never was and never will be a Dale Earnhardt fan, though I respected him as one of the great drivers. People need to let him go. That said, Chastain will never be good enough to carry Earnhardt’s jock.


Kyle Busch is filling that role. Everybody says Ross is dirty,.. but forget Kyle is far worse,.. even wrecked his own brother for the W. So far Chastain is doing what what every other driver has done. The problem is, the ones that do it most, are the ones that complain, a la Logano, Hamlin, Harvick, etc. 🤷🏼‍♂️


Let the driver who has never rattled somebody’s cage cast the first stone!

Bill B

I don’t think that is a fair assessment. If you crossed Dale you might have to deal with him after the race and you just might get your ass kicked. I don’t see anyone fearing a confrontation with Kyle after the race.


-Michael mrucz

Greg Brown

There will always Be only One Dale Earnhardt!! Stop comparing anyone to him.

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