NASCARNASCAR Cup SeriesChastain sneaks through the turns for Sonoma top-10

Chastain sneaks through the turns for Sonoma top-10

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

After getting swept up in an accident, Ross Chastain cut through the track on the way to a top-10 finish at Sonoma Raceway.

A late caution in the Toyota / Save Mart 350 put Chastain’s No. 42 Clover Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE just inside the top-10. Two laps after the restart, the Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) driver dove beneath Corey LaJoie’s No. 7 Nations Guard Chevrolet. The contact sent LaJoie spinning. In the chain-reaction, Chastain was turned. Alex Bowman, William Byron, Kevin Harvick, and Erik Jones also picked up damage in the incident.

When Chastain regained control, instead of returning to the track on the outside of the tire packs that line the inside of turn 11, he cut through the empty space. As the caution waved, the Alva, FL native found himself inside the top-five. NASCAR Cup Series officials did not penalize Chastain, however, nor did they force him to give the positions back.

Chastain held his ground on the restart. Although he slipped out of the top-five, he ran sixth. Two quick cautions at the end of the race pushed NASCAR’s return to Sonoma into overtime. Both Kurt and Kyle Busch snuck by Chastain. The CGR driver held off Denny Hamlin and Bowman on the final lap to take the checkered flag in seventh.

“Whoa, seventh on a dry road course!” exclaimed Chastain. “This No. 42 team is so good; they gave me a Clover Chevy that I can go out and race with the best Cup Series guys; it just seems wild. The pit sequences were crazy; the car is pretty clean. A good day for both the No. 1 and 42 teams. I got to race with the No.1 car a lot there at the end, and only touched a little bit, which is hard to do here. A good teammate day and good building day for CGR.”

Due to engine problems in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway one week ago, both Chastain and his CGR teammate Kurt Busch started 29th and 30th. While Busch managed to climb into the top-10 to earn Stage points in Stage 1, Chastain pitted just before pit road was closed. He repeated the strategy in Stage 2.

The seventh-place finish is Chastain’s third top-10 this season and the fourth of his NASCAR Cup Series career. It is also the 93rd top-10 finish across NASCAR’s three National Series.

The top-10 finish moves Chastain from 21st to 20th in the points standings. He is 84-points behind the playoff cutoff, held by Chris Buescher. Chastain is 357-points behind leader Hamlin.

Featured Photo Credit: Photo by Jim Fluharty / Harold Hinson Photography

Seth Eggert
Seth Eggert
Growing up in Northern New Jersey, Seth grew up in a family of NASCAR fans. He was always determined to have a career in the industry. While in college, Seth bought a subscription to iRacing. As an avid iRacer, Seth took an opportunity to start a journalism career at iRacingNews covering the IndyCar Open Oval Series. He spent four years at iRacingNews before moving towards coverage of motorsports in the real world. In 2016, Seth joined Tribute Racing, which then became Motorsports Tribune as a Staff Writer. That same year, he graduated from Mitchell Community College with an Associate’s Degree in History. He joined the Kickin’ the Tires team as a Staff Writer and eSports Editor in late 2019. When he is not writing or covering NASCAR or iRacing, Seth works at Mitchell Community College as an Administrator in their Mooresville campus tutoring center. He is also qualified to tutor up to 38 different classes ranging from Communications to History to Math to various electives.


  1. I think, rather than your opening statement that “he got swept up in an accident.” It would be more proper to say, he caused an accident. Yes he came out of it smelling like a rose. But he ruined a lot of other people’s day. Not the least of which was Cory Lajoie’s. Yes he left a small opening on the inside, but it wasn’t one that could ever have led to a clean pass. The 7 & 78 both ran way above expectations, & both got wrecked due at least in part to a lack of respect. The lack of respect could also include Michael McDowell. People wouldn’t race Harvick or other top teams like that.


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