Suddenly, several top NASCAR Cup Series drivers have a common enemy. That enemy — perhaps “aggressor” would be the more appropriate term — is Ross Chastain, who had run-ins with multiple drivers in this past Sunday’s inaugural Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis. So out of control was Chastain that the Trackhouse Racing driver himself made no excuses about his erratic driving when asked in a post-race interview about contact he made during the race with series veterans Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott, who were both enraged.
"It was just terrible driving," Chastain said bluntly. "It’s one thing to do it once, but I just kept driving into guys. At this level, I’m supposed to be better than that. I cannot believe I just made so many mistakes back-to-back. It’s one thing for one, but I just absolutely drove over my head today. It’s unacceptable. I owe half of the field an apology. Words aren’t going to fix it, so I’ll have to pay for it on the track." Indeed he will — at least if Hamlin makes good on the following post-race rant.
"It seems like there's no sense of caution there (with Chastain) that says, ‘Maybe I'm going too aggressive,’” Hamlin said. “That's his decision to make, but, ultimately, this sport is self-policing. Usually when you least expect it and when it means the most is when it comes back around.”
While Hamlin let Chastain know by the way he drove Chastain the rest of the day how he felt about the bump that sent the No. 11 Toyota into the wall fairly early in the race, it seems that Hamlin believes he still has a score to settle. Elliott, for his part, was also irate with Chastain — and may also be looking to get even. Will either driver — or Martin Truex Jr., who Chastain wrecked a few weeks ago at Dover — retaliate this weekend at Sonoma? Stay tuned.