As you may have heard, Ross Chastain had a full day on Sunday that extended beyond three and a half hours of driving to a fifth-place finish in the NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400.
Everyone saw the punch Chastain landed on rookie Noah Gragson after the run. If you were late tuning in to the FS1 telecast, however, you missed a verbal shot that Chastain landed on a retired pilot.
Ross Chastain had a great Sunday
Ross Chastain came to Kansas Speedway with a three-point lead in the NASCAR Cup Series standings and came away with a 31-point advantage after finishing fifth. He’s yet to win, but the Trackhouse Racing No. 1 Chevy driver has five top-five finishes and four more top-13 finishes in a dozen starts.
Chastain also has four stage wins, each worth a playoff point, and is almost halfway to the regular-season championship, which would net him another 15 playoff points. Sure, he’ll definitely need a few wins along the way, but the Florida watermelon grower is gearing up to return to Championship 4.
Things got physical with Noah Gragson after the race
Legacy Motor Club rookie Noah Gragson raced well through 200 of the scheduled 267 laps at Kansas Speedway. After qualifying 22n/aGragson worked his way up to 12e at the end of Stage 1. Then he took advantage of the pit cycle at the end of Stage 2 to move up to third place and take eight points.
In turn, the #42 Chevy came back to 28e place before Gragson moved back into the top five on lap 193. But Gragson started to fall back and found himself side by side with Ross Chastain coming out of turn 4 on lap 206. The #1 Chevy didn’t seem to take contact as Chastain came onto the track, but the aerodynamic effect was enough to destabilize the #42 Chevy and put Gragson against the wall.
Gragson ended up stopping four times in eight laps for tires and adjustments. At the end of the streak, he was five laps down. Late in the race, Chastain was making a pass when Gragson slipped to make his presence felt, but there was no contact.
They reunited just after the race, and the words turned into physical contact as Gragson grabbed Chastain, who responded with a punch before security intervened.
Ross Chastain started his day with a shot at Michael Waltrip
Of all the things Fox Sports does wrong on its NASCAR Cup Series TV shows, the most easily avoidable is Michael Waltrip’s pre-race walking grid. “Interviews” with three or four drivers tend to consist of one question each, and none of them elicit particularly enlightening answers.
Sunday’s walk brought Waltrip, who won four of 784 Cup Series starts and was also a team owner, to Ross Chastain. Waltrip prefaced the encounter by noting that Chastain was the story of the week after his incident with Brennan Poole. The rest went like this:
Waltrip: “But I know you, you are a competitor. You put on that helmet, close that shield and off you go.
Chastain: “Yeah, sometimes I just do it to cover my haircut. But I’m fine this week. You might still need a helmet.
Waltrip: “Do you think the haircut is a little off?”
Chastain: “I hope they gave you something to go with it.”
Hush. Just when you think you’ve had enough of Chastain, he delivers like this.
Have a question or comment about the race? Sportscasting’s John Moriello does a mailbag column every Friday. Write to him at [email protected]
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