Race Weekend Central

Meet Ross Chastain’s 2 Newest Enemies: Kyle Larson & Brennan Poole

DOVER, Del. – Kyle Larson was charging to the front in his No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet in Monday’s (May 1) rain-delayed Wurth 400. Brennan Poole was simply trying to survive, making his first NASCAR Cup Series start since 2020 for former employer Rick Ware Racing.

Neither one got the result they were hoping for, Miles the Monster mashing their cars into pieces with runner-up finisher Ross Chastain under scrutiny for another mistake.

The costly error for the driver of the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet came on lap 80, bumping into Poole as the lapped car slowed ahead of him entering turn 1.

“Completely my fault,” Chastain said after the race. “I was just going to actually follow Brennan past [Austin Dillon] there, and he just checked up quicker than I thought, and I got into him.”

From there, Poole got right into the wall… directly in front of Larson’s No. 5 car.

“I was committed to the top,” a disappointed Larson explained. “Nowhere for me to go.”

Nowhere but right into Poole’s No. 15, that is.

“I just hope our luck turns around soon,” Larson continued after the race. “We have the fastest car every damn weekend and it doesn’t seem to shake out.”

It was a calmer, more measured approach toward the incident than in the heat of the moment, when the 2021 Cup champion’s frustration was directly focused on Chastain.

Larson did his best to issue payback to the fellow Chevy driver after making it back out on track, several laps behind. A late-race block on Chastain cost him a full second while battling with Martin Truex Jr. for the win down the stretch.

“You can take it for whatever you think it might be,” Larson said over the aggressive maneuver, one that led to a terse “no comment” from Chastain after the race. “Again, I would understand third stage or something but … that was the middle of the first stage. And to make an error like that… his errors never affect him negatively.

“I’m not saying anything about that. I just find it funny how he always comes out on the good end. So, it just is what it is.”

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Chastain, for his part, was more concerned about the damage incurred for a Rick Ware Racing team that’s one of the least-funded in the NASCAR garage.

“When I get home from [Sonoma later this week],” he said, “I’ll find [Brennan] and Rick [Ware] and make some of that right.”

Chastain still soldiered on during the event, coming home in second while Larson and Poole wound up 32nd and 33rd, respectively. Both were left to wonder what might have been had that contact not interfered with their day.

“We are the fastest car every week,” Larson said. “Who knows, I think we could have won that first stage had it kept going green. We were super fast.

“Just don’t have any luck right now.”

Or anyone inside the garage taking matters into their own hands when it comes to Chastain.

“I feel like I just got ran over,” Poole said. “I got shoved in the corner and just immediately, I was turned around … he just ran me over. I think it’s kind of pathetic…

Probably needs to get his butt whooped.

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About the author

The author of Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 40+ staff members as its majority owner and Editor-in-Chief. Based outside Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild. He most recently consulted with SRX Racing, helping manage cutting-edge technology and graphics that appeared on their CBS broadcasts during 2021 and 2022.

You can find Tom’s writing here, at CBSSports.com and Athlonsports.com, where he’s been an editorial consultant for the annual racing magazine for 15 years.

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Thunder

Oh boohooo! Maybe Brennan shouldn’t have stood on the brakes doing into the corner?

DoninAjax

I don’t think he got on the brakes but he definitely backed off early probably so he didn’t hit the 3 and didn’t give the 1 a chance to react. But he did do his job to get in the way of the fast cars.

DoninAjax

Larson should be mad at the 15 for being a rolling roadblock just like in every event it is entered in. Chastain probably didn’t realize how slow the 15 was and popped him in the rear and sent him into a spin that collected Larson. The 15, 51, 78 and 77 do the same thing every event. They were losing about a second a lap at Dover and getting lapped about every 25 or 30 laps. I’d like to see a stat for how many green flag passes they make during an event and how many times they are passed. If the 15 wasn’t in the product the incident wouldn’t have happened.

Kurt Smith

I get the frustration for Larson and even for Chastain with the backmarkers, but when you wreck a guy and he subsequently ends up taking out a contender, that’s the wrecker’s fault.

DoninAjax

That works if Poole told his spotter “Tell Chastain I”m backing off now.” and the spotter told Chastain’s spotter “The 15 is backing off now” and Chastain’s spotter said “The 15 is backing off now.” so Chastain would have the time to react.

Sue

I bet if that had been Chase Elliot or say Harvick that had bumped THE 51, no one would be saying the same thing. Probably calling it a racing thing.

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