By Jerry Jordan, Editor
SONOMA, Ca. – Last week, NASCAR driver Ross Chastain ruffled more than a few feathers at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis, when he wrecked Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott and then he got into Bubba Wallace’s car, which is owned by Hamlin and Michael Jordan. It was hard racing but even Chastain admitted he made more than one mistake.
Fast forward to Sonoma Raceway and media availabilities, Chastain was first asked if he has talked to Hamlin and Elliott. He had. Although Hamlin had already confirmed the two conversed adding, “he knows where I stand.” The second question of Chastain was, “so, when do you expect to get wrecked?”
Elliott said he has no reason to talk to Chastain but he accepted the call to discuss the issue saying, “I just told him that he is fast and has a lot of pace and he is going to be just as successful with that pace he has if he is just a little more mindful of positions he puts himself and others in at points of the race that really don’t matter as much. And that was really all I had to say. I tried to take the high road and talk to him, you know, as if I would want someone to talk to me. I just tried to give him my opinion and he can take that or leave it or whatever he wants to do.”
The unofficial Driver Code pretty much calls for payback but Chastain was silent on the question. So silent, in fact, that his silence became the indication that he knows payback is coming, he just doesn’t know when and that unknown might mean Hamlin is in his head, so to speak. He confirmed that he also turned off social media following last week’s incident.
“I know where both of them stand, yeah,” Chastain said. “We’re big boys and they can handle it as they see fit and I’ll try to be better. We hit the walls every week.
— Trackhouse Racing (@TeamTrackhouse) June 5, 2022
Pressed on the mental aspect of the situation, Chastain replied, “How do you know until after, right?”
Chastain said the best medicine for him would be to “start up-front and go win the race.”
“My dad’s taught me from a very early age Saturday night, Florida short track racing, we were wrecking and racing for 10th the best thing we could do the next week was just go beat them.”
Chastain will roll off the starting grid for Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350 in seventh with Hamlin behind him in 10th and Elliott up front in second.