NASCAR In St. Louis: Denny Hamlin & Chase Elliott Were Out For Revenge After Being Wrecked By Ross Chastain

A race car on a track
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Well that was a fun first race in St. Louis.

The NASCAR Cup Series made their first visit to World Wild Technology Raceway, and sparks flew between two of the season’s top drivers.

Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin have both won two races this year and have solidly locked themselves into the playoffs later this year. But if you thought the two championship contenders would be content to just ride around and try to stay out of trouble, well, you’d be wrong.

Early on in stage 2, Chastain was battling Hamlin when he ran out of patience trying to pass the #11 car.

Chastain tapped Hamlin as they were entering the corner, sending Hamlin into the outside wall and bringing out the caution flag.

Hamlin had to come to pit road to fix the damage to his car, and eventually returned to the track multiple laps down and two seconds slower than the rest of the field.

Now, if you know anything about Denny Hamlin, you know that wasn’t going to be the end of it.

And it wasn’t.

With Hamlin running around the track off the pace, it was only a matter of time before Ross Chastain caught up to him again. But this time, Hamlin wasn’t going to make it as easy for Chastain to get around him.

As Chastain set up the pass on the straightaway, Hamlin ran the #1 car all the way down to the apron and into the dust to show his displeasure.

NASCAR then warned Hamlin that he had made his point, but Hamlin didn’t quite feel that he and Chastain were even:

So what did Hamlin do the next time Chastain came around? The exact same thing, slowing down to run Chastain down the track as he tried to get around Hamlin.

But things didn’t get any easier for Chastain from there.

On a restart after a caution for leader Ryan Blaney blowing a tire, Chastain tried to make it three wide to get past Chase Elliott and ended up sending NASCAR’s most popular driver spinning.

This guy’s a bull in a China shop and I love it.

Unfortunately for Chastain, he now had two cars on the track who had it out for him – and on the ensuing restart, he just happened to be surrounded by both Hamlin and Elliott. So you know what was coming…

Elliott wasted no time getting some payback, tapping the left rear of Chastain’s car and sending him up the track – and allowing Hamlin to get back in front of Chastain on the track.

Now Elliott and Hamlin have had their issues in the past, but today it seems like they put their past beef behind them and focused on their new common enemy. Because at this point it was Hamlin’s turn to mess with Chastain some more, as Hamlin slowed down and threw block after block on Chastain, keeping the #1 car behind him and putting Chastain in danger of not making minimum speed to be able to continue on in the race.

Chastain finally managed to get around Hamlin and rally for an 8th place finish, while Hamlin finished a disappointing 34th and Elliott had to settle for 21st.

Now, during the race Chastain was none too happy with Hamlin, and seemed to indicate that he’d get his payback after the race:

But once the race ended, and maybe after some time to calm down and reflect on what happened, Chastain took responsibility for both incidents on the track, calling it “terrible driving” on his part:

“It’s one thing to do it once but I just kept driving into guys. At this level I’m supposed to be better than that…

I owe half the field an apology, and words aren’t gonna fix it so I’ll have to pay for it on the track and almost did today. And I deserve everything that they do.

I can’t believe that I continue to make the same mistakes and overdrive the corners and drive into guys. I had time under caution to get reset and we go green and I drive into somebody. Terrible.”

So will Hamlin and Elliott accept Chastain’s apology, or is Ross going to have a target on his back for the rest of the season?

I guess we’ll see. But if today was any indication, he might want to keep an eye on his rearview mirror from here on out…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock