Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain has been a topic of conversation throughout the NASCAR season, both for his wins and his aggressive driving style. He was most recently involved in multiple on-track incidents at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which led to Martin Truex Jr. hinting at future retaliation from his fellow drivers.
Truex made the comments during a discussion with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Claire B. Lang. He explained that Chastain didn’t necessarily do anything wrong in the incident that sent the No. 19 spinning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Though Truex also said that this situation could have been avoided and that these incidents seem to occur “pretty regularly.”
“It is what it is,” Truex said. “Some guys have to learn different ways, and we’ll see how it all plays out. He’s obviously fast and he’s up front and he’s running good. He’s just not making… He’s making a bunch of enemies and people tend to remember that stuff when the playoffs come around and things get heated. So, we’ll see how things play out.”
Truex was on the receiving end of some contact from Chastain, which sent him spinning and brought out the caution. Truex was running behind Chase Elliott on the outside line on Lap 91 when Chastain got into his right rear bumper. The contact was not intentional, and Truex noted that he had checked up. Though it still kicked off a wreck that collected Truex, Chastain, Michael McDowell, Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Austin Dillon, and Kyle Larson.
ALL the latest NASCAR news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on NASCAR newsletter here!
Sign up for the Heavy on NASCAR Newsletter!
A Podcast Co-Host Provided a Different Opinion
There have been multiple drivers that have made strong comments about Chastain’s aggression while hinting at potential payback in the future. These interviews have created conversations about what may take place, but one prominent voice expects to see no retaliation.
Mike Davis, co-host of “The Dale Jr. Download,” made the comments during the July 12 episode. He talked about all of the drivers “taking shots” at Chastain and the way he races, but he said that these will ultimately be “empty calories” unless one of the angry drivers is outside of the playoff picture.
“I want to go back to Denny and Ross Chastain real quick,” Davis said. “Did I not say that these guys are all talk? I said that a few weeks ago. I did. I said, ‘these guys sit there, and they’ll say in an interview that they’re going to get him back, and that’s the last time, and they got one coming.’
“I’m here to tell you, Denny Hamlin ain’t going to do a dang thing to Ross Chastain unless Denny is out of the playoffs and Ross is in the playoffs and there is something to lose. I think Denny has too much to lose. He’s going to race this way, and I don’t think any of them guys are going to do anything about it.”
Davis continued and clarified that he doesn’t think the drivers will let Chastain win a championship. Other than preventing that outcome, however, he believes that the comments in interviews are all talk.
Time Will Provide the Answer
Hamlin, Dillon, Truex, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola have all expressed anger after incidents involving Chastain. None have really retaliated other than Elliott making some contact at World Wide Technology Raceway and Hamlin purposely trying to slow Chastain down at the same track.
Will there be more retaliation? Opinions are split on this topic. Davis strongly said that this is all empty talk that will lead to nothing. Others have simply said that it will happen later in the season when the races matter more.
Only time will provide the answer. There are seven races remaining in the regular season, and then there will be 10 races that make up the playoffs. If some of these drivers wait to retaliate, they could choose to do so during a cutoff race in the Round of 16, 12, or Eight. If Chastain makes the championship four, the drivers could also attempt to disrupt his afternoon during the finale at Phoenix Raceway.
READ NEXT: Kyle Larson Announces New Racing Series