CHASTAIN GETS NASCAR SEASON BACK ON TRACK
By Dave Hascall
(Lebanon, TN) 2022 NASCAR Cup Runner up Ross Chastain made lots of headlines early in the 2023 season, but they were for the wrong reasons. They all revolved around aggressive driving incidents that the Floridian escaped from unscathed but others did not. In fact he was frequently called out and his rough driving led to fisticuffs after one race. It got so bad that Trackhouse Racing’s owner Justin Marks had to set Chastain down to explain the gravity of his transgressions.
Chastain made the ‘22 playoffs “Championship Four” last Fall at the Martinsville (VA) Speedway by an unorthodox last lap, no holds barred move that had never been seen before – not even in a video game. The move is still being talked about but is now illegal in NASCAR.
Chastain was the polesitter for the Ally 400 at the Nashville Superspeedway but Tyler Reddick was the fastest in the final practice. Reddick took the lead from Chastain in the middle of Stage 1 and easily took the stage win. However, that was about the last hurrah for Reddick. He spun after losing a wheel in stage two and finished 30th. Current points leader Martin Truex, Jr., and fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin gave Chastain similar competition in Stage 2. Hamlin won the second stage. Chastain dominated the third stage and pulled away from Truex at there end to win his first race in well over a year. Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson completed the top five. A. J. Allmendinger won the Xfinity Series race and Carson Hocevar captured the Craftsman Truck Series race earlier in the weekend.