In just over one season with Trackhouse Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, Ross Chastain has already established himself as one of the sport’s biggest stars.
He’s also established himself as one of its most polarizing characters.
Since taking over the No. 1 car, it seems that someone has taken issue with Chastain every few races. And with Kyle Larson blocking him in the closing laps at Dover Speedway and Noah Gragson confronting him on pit road after the race at Kansas Speedway, Chastain’s reputation in the garage area doesn’t seem to be improving.
Of course, drivers won’t see eye-to-eye on a variety of issues, and Chastain has taken blame for incidents that he believes to be of his own making. But whether warranted or not, Chastain has clashed with a quarter of the garage area in near record time.
This list does not include drivers getting angry at Chastain over hard racing (for example, Kyle Busch was frustrated with him at Kansas, but there was never a crash between the two). In order to make it on the list, a driver had to be involved in a collision with Chastain and express displeasure over it.
To my count, there have been 13 incidents (excluding retaliations) in 11 races between nine drivers in his 47 races with the team.
Circuit of the Americas: vs. AJ Allmendinger
Synopsis: Allmendinger bumps Chastain to take the lead on the last lap. Chastain later responds with an aggressive bump that spins Allmendinger after the No. 16 car bounced off of Alex Bowman.
Dover Motor Speedway: vs. Martin Truex Jr.
Synopsis: While racing for third on the final lap, Chastain quickly shuts the door on Truex out of turn 2. Truex then loses control and spins out on the backstretch, finishing 12th.
Synopsis: Chastain gets into the back of Hamlin while racing in the top 10, and the damage cripples Hamlin’s car. In a later incident, Chastain gets into the back of Elliott, spinning him out.
Retaliation: Hamlin and his crippled car held up Chastain on numerous occasions when the No. 1 car came up to lap him. And, on the restart after his spin, Elliott bumped Chastain well out of the groove into turn 1.
Atlanta Motor Speedway (July): vs. Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin
Synopsis: Chastain gets into the back of Truex and spins him out. The contact ultimately causes the Big One that collects at least half a dozen cars. In the closing laps of…