Rick Hendrick On Ross Chastain After Late-Race Wreck At Darlington With Kyle Larson: “It’s Really Getting Old”

Ross Chastain Kyle Larson NASCAR

Another NASCAR race in the books, and another week of Ross Chastain dominating the conversation.

The Trackhouse Racing driver has been in the spotlight a lot lately for his aggressiveness on the track. It all started at Talladega when Chastain made a bold move inside Noah Gragson, setting off a massive wreck when Gragson came down to block Chastain’s run. Kyle Larson and Ryan Preece both ended up taking hard hits in the aftermath.

Then at Dover, Chastain ran into the back of the slower car of Brennan Poole, sending Poole around and once again collecting Larson in the process.

Larson had some harsh words for Chastain on the radio after the wreck, calling him a “f*cking idiot” for pulling a move like that and being so aggressive in just the first stage of the race.


Things really seemed to come to a head last week at Kansas when Chastain and Gragson got together once again, ultimately leading to a cut tire for Gragson and ruining any hopes he had of a decent finish.

After the race, Gragson confronted Chastain on pit road – but Chastain once again came out on top when he landed a punch square on Gragson’s jaw before the two were separated by security.

Well if yesterday’s race at Darlington is any indication, Chastain doesn’t seem to have any intention of changing his style.

While racing Larson for the lead late in the race during the Goodyear 400, Larson ran Chastain high into the turn and caused Chastain to hit the wall as a crash broke out behind them.

Chastain was none too happy with Larson after the contact, asking his team on the radio if the two were “even” now, or if Larson was going to drive Chastain into the fence again.

Well everybody knew what was coming on the ensuing restart, which this time featured Chastain on the inside and Larson against the wall in the outside groove.

As the leaders took the green flag, the two immediately began racing hard, not giving the other any room as they entered turn one. They made contact in the middle of the turn, sending Chastain into the fence across Larson’s nose and bringing to an end any chance that either driver had of winning the race.

It was a frustrating end for both drivers, who had driven hard and ran in the front of the pack all day. But Larson and his team were especially upset after feeling like they had been taken out by Chastain for 3 of the past 4 weeks.

Speaking to the media after the race, Larson’s team owner Rick Hendrick had some harsh words for Chastain:

“I think you can ask any driver in here that he’s wrecked or been involved with him. He doesn’t have to be that aggressive. And I guess at this point in the race maybe you’re super aggressive, but you just don’t run people up in the fence.

He’s gonna make a lot of enemies, and it’s hard to win a championship when you’ve got a lot of paybacks out there. He’s got so much talent. I think if he just calmed down – there’s a time in the race…

He’s got a lot of talent, but he’s making a lot of enemies out here. And I mean, Kyle now, this one and Dover, Talladega, it’s really getting old with these guys.”

Now I think part of that is just defending his driver and being upset that Larson’s been involved in so many wrecks lately, because it’s hard to blame Chastain for the Talladega wreck when it was Gragson who moved to block Chastain and set off the crash.

Then at Darlington, Larson did the same thing to Chastain on the restart prior to the wreck that Chastain did when they crashed. So it’s not like Larson is innocent or isn’t aggressive as well.

And honestly, I’m fine with that. I’d rather see two guys use each other up, push their cars to the limit and fight for every inch of the racetrack than drivers out there taking it easy on each other and letting cars go by them without a fight.

I’m sure Rick Hendrick would have been fine with it if his driver had come out on top…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock