KANSAS CITY, Kan. – If racing fans thought that a Kansas Speedway record 37 lead changes or the last-lap contact between Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin for the win would make the headlines on Monday morning, they would be sorely mistaken.
Just after Hamlin climbed triumphantly from his car (to the jeers of the crowd) after his fourth NASCAR Cup Series win at Kansas — the most of any driver — the crowd, the infield and even the drivers themselves turned to the middle of pit road as a confrontation between Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain quickly escalated into a fistfight.
Neither driver has been a stranger to controversies or run-ins with other drivers throughout their career, and in a race where Gragson had one of his best runs of the season spoiled by tight racing with Chastain out of turn 4, Gragson decided that enough was enough.
“He just fenced us off of [turn] 4 [with] 60 laps to go in the race,” Gragson said. “I don’t get it. Completely used us up and fenced the s–t out of us. I’m not going to tear the Trackhouse guys’ stuff up, I respect their hard work.
“But, you know, nobody confronts the guy. I went down there and grabbed him and showed my displeasure. I’m sick and tired of it, and the guy just runs into everyone. When you got guys like Chase Elliott and other guys telling you to go beat his ass, you know, everyone’s just sick and tired of him but nobody has the balls to go up and get him. I’m tired of it.”
“We had an up-and-down day, we had a really good start of the race,” Gragson said. “Kind of fell back and had a loose wheel issue. The cautions fell our way and then got back up there, and just tired of getting used up.
“Makes it a lot worse because we’ve flat-out sucked this year. You have somewhat of a decent run going and get used up. I mean, everybody else races super hard but super respectful. And you got one douchebag in the field that doesn’t.”
Chastain — who finished fifth in the race and was due for a media session on pit road — immediately sprinted to his hauler after the…