Darlington, South Carolina – Ross Chastain strikes again. This time, not after a race but at a pivotal moment on the track.
Chastain, battling for the lead on the first lap of the second half with six laps to go Darlington RacecourseTry to pinch Kyle Larson to force him to lose momentum in the top groove by the wall, but the move went wrong – with Chastain sliding into Larson, wrecking himself and ruining Larson’s hopes of winning the race.
It was the third time in four weeks that Chastain was involved in a wreck where he did not hit someone on purpose but had contact with them. His aggressive style, when things are going well, is celebrated, but he has recently frustrated many drivers and teams, With it reaching its peak last week when he f Noah Gragson I got into a fight.
Takeaway from Darlington:
Chastain Larson Tangle
Chastain was unable to continue in the accident while Larsson finished 20th.
Full commitment [Turn] 1,” Chastain said. It got really tight and I got up and turned on myself. I wanted to click on it. I wanted to push it. We’ve been going back and forth all day.
“I definitely wanted to push him, but I definitely didn’t want to turn myself into him.”
I wanted to click on it
Ross Chastain talked about his strategy on battling Kyle Larson at the end of the Goodyear 400.
Larson did not comment after the race. But his team owner, Rick Hendrick, at Byron’s winning press conference, had some harsh words.
“You just don’t run into people in the fence,” Hendrik said. “He’s going to make a lot of enemies. It’s hard to win a championship when you have a lot of winnings. … He’s got a lot of talent, but he makes a lot of enemies here.”
Chastain reiterated his comments when asked if he needed to race Larson differently moving forward.
“We all go to the race and I am totally committed to that [Turn] 1 And I wanted to squeeze him — I definitely didn’t want to run myself through his nose,” he said outside the Pathway Medical Center. This is not what I wanted to talk to all of you here. Another great day for Track House.”
Chastain Trux Chape
Chastain said his car was not the same after he and Truex had an accident at the end of stage two when Truex ran him close to the wall and Chastain bounced off the wall into Truex.
Truex, who led 145 of the first 150 laps, ended up getting destroyed late in the race on a restart.
“It was just an unfortunate deal,” Truex said. “There was a lot of room there and he bounced off the wall and hit me and knocked his toe in the right front and we were pretty bad from there.”
Byron celebrates a 100-24 win
The 100th victory was taken by William Byron for the No. 24 car, which was made famous by team co-owner Jeff Gordon.
It also marked Byron’s third win of the season. Last year, Byron had two wins in his first eight races and never won again.
This year, he won two of the first four races and it was a significant moment to not have another dip after the wins.
“We had a bit of a chip and try a little bit of not letting it happen again, so maybe we’ve been pinching ourselves a little bit just to make sure we don’t repeat,” Byron said.
“Now I think we’re in a bind here where we have to continue our operations, carry on what got us here, but it definitely looks different than it did last year where I felt after we won the doubles he had a kind of false confidence. We’ve learned from that.”
Bob Pockerass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene, and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobocrassand subscribe to FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pokras.
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