Ross Chastain: ‘I’ve driven over my head a few times’

Madison, Illinois – Ross Chastain He shook his head and tried to understand what he had done on Sunday.

One of the sport’s winning drivers this season has left the global technology circuit humbly. His aggressive driving is angry Chase Elliot And the Denny Hamlinleading to revenge.

“I’ve driven over my head a few times,” Chastain told NBC Sports as he returned to the garage after finishing eighth. “It’s one thing to do it once, but I kept driving with the guys.

“I can’t believe turning back now that I’ve done it over and over and had time to stop and think there under caution. It’ll turn green, and I’ll do it again. I’ve tried so hard to be better.”

“Words won’t fix it. An apology won’t. Just terrible.”

Chastain hit Hamlin in the rear and sent it into the wall as they raced for sixth place on lap 64. Hamlin lost a number of laps to overhaul and wasn’t a factor in the rest of the race, finishing 11 laps in 34th.

“There seems to be no sense of conscience there saying maybe I’m a little aggressive,” Hamlin told reporters of Chastain. “That is his decision. He can honestly make any decision he wants.

“He’s his own man, and he’s been very successful at doing what he does. Ultimately, this sport is restraint and usually when you don’t suspect it – and that means the most – you come back again.”

About 15 laps after the crash, Chastain came on Hamlin. Delivering Hamlin a message, Chastain drove to the backpack apron before Chastain died.

Hamlin later crippled Chastain again. It got to the point that NASCAR ordered the team to tell Hamlin that he had made his point.

Chastain, though, hasn’t bothered drivers.

pressure between Austin Dillon Elliot’s reboot. Chastain hit Elliott in the left rear, turning Elliott over and signaling caution in Lap 103 of a 245 lap race.

“What is he doing? Run me and enter (turn) 3 and then run me again,” Elliott said on his team radio.

In the next second half, Elliott and Hamlin were at the back of the field with Chastain. Elliot shocked Chastain, pushing him toward the wall. When Chastain got back down the track, Hamlin came and moved him up.

While Chastain was tough on himself, Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks defended his driver, who has won two Cup races this year.

“Honestly, I don’t think there was anything wrong with Ross Chastain today, not just one thing,” Marks told NBC Sports. “This is a very competitive sport and you are fighting for every inch.

“The thing is that he’s a newcomer in the top five and the top five don’t like having a newcomer out there. I am very proud of him. It is very aggressive. That’s what’s needed to win races, and ultimately get him to where he’s going to be a NASCAR Champion – his aggressiveness matches his talent.”

While Chastain races hard, he’s also tried to hold back at times. Kevin Harvick approached him on a pit road after the Pocono race on June 27 last year and told him “If I just slipped one notch down,” Chastain could have finished fifth for the top spot. Instead, Chastain finished 26th after calling him Christopher Bell.

Chastain trains with Josh Wise, a former driver who also works with him Kyle LarsonAnd the Alex Bowman And the Tyler Riddick, among other things. Wise worked with Chastain on figuring out when to be aggressive and when to hold back.

One of Wise’s tactics last year was to prevent Chastain from even saying the word “take.”

Chastain said Wise told him last year, “You won’t use that word anymore, and you won’t do it on the right track.”

He didn’t use that word Sunday after the race. Instead, he said something else.

“I owe half the field an apology,” Chastain said. “Words won’t fix it, so I’m going to have to pay for it on the right track. I almost did today and I deserve everything they do.”