Ross Chastain drove into the back of the No. 15 car piloted by Brennan Poole before Monday’s Wurth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway had even reached the one-quarter mark causing that car to spin up the track and collect the fast moving machine driven by Kyle Larson. Poole was eliminated from competition because of the crash while Larson ultimately finished many laps down. Chastain, however, was unscathed and eventually drove to a second-place result behind race winner Martin Truex Jr.
The incident just added another to the list of many Chastain has been involved in while other drivers, media, and fans are quick to point the finger of guilt in the Trackhouse Racing driver’s direction. But in reality, that’s about all anyone ever does.
Sure, there are many claims that paybacks are coming. And yes, there have been times when the No. 1 Chevrolet has been forced high and may have even brushed the wall causing the loss a few spots in the running order. But considering the list of drivers who have been angry with Chastain over the past couple of seasons, there have been no real consequences for his actions. There has been no crash meant as payback from an offended driver serious enough to take him out of a race nor has there been a post-race punch in the nose. I’m not advocating either of those two things but human emotion is what it is and one has to wonder how that has not yet happened.
After the accident at Dover, Poole seemed to be in favor of retribution when he spoke to FS1.
“I guess that’s something he’s been known to do here recently,” Poole said. “He probably needs to get his butt whooped.”
During a post-race conversation with Bob Pockrass( @bobpockrass ), Larson was asked if he intentionally held up Chastain late in the race to allow Truex to pull away.
“I don’t know,” Larson stated. “You can take it for whatever you think it might be. It was a long, frustrating day for me, another day where I get caught up in something that’s not my fault.”
The driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet went on to acknowledge that Chastain never faces repercussions for his actions.
“I would understand if it was the third stage or something but that was the middle of the first stage. To make an error like that, and his errors never affect him negatively, I just find it funny that he always comes out on the good end.”
Ross Chastain in the No. 1 Trackhouse Chevrolet
Aside from a little mirror driving, some drivers have used vocabulary to get back at Chastain. Kyle Busch created a new word for the English language when he claimed to have been “Chastain’d”. Christopher Bell once referred to him as a “Wrecking Ball”. Again, no real consequences.
As Larson said, Chastain never seems to be affected negatively.
After numerous promises of paybacks in 2022, Chastain won two races then made it to the Championship 4 in Phoenix before finally finishing second behind NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano. Further, he became a YouTube sensation because of his wall ride at Martinsville. Currently, he leads the series standings. Those are not exactly the results of someone who received his just desserts.
With results like those, why shouldn’t Chastain drive the way he does?
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Richard Allen has been covering NASCAR and other forms of motorsports since 2008.
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