Training partners during the week became mutual combatants on pit road Sunday following the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway, when Noah Gragson confronted Ross Chastain after an incident lead to the No. 42 blowing a tire and spinning out on lap 207.
While Gragson made his intentions clear on pit road, Chastain beat him to the punch and landed a shot before they both were restrained. Chastain has had more than his share of on-track skirmishes in the last couple of years, but to date nobody has really confronted him until Gragson.
Was Gragson justified in wanting to settle things outside of the car, or was the latest Chastain incident legitimate just racing? This week Vito Pugliese and Wyatt Watson offer their takes in 2-Headed Monster.
Taming Unchecked Aggression
Another race, another incident involving Ross Chastain. At this point we’re entering death and taxes territory as a constant in the Cup Series. What once was the domain of a RWR car bringing out a yellow before halfway as a prop bet, Chastain was involved in not just one but two on-track incidents Sunday at Kansas Speedway.
Waiting for him with an Eastwood-esque scowl, but a Lloyd Christmas coif was Gragson. Never one to shy away from throwing hands, Gragson confronted his training partner and got a Chael Sonnen masterclass in not letting you get too close.
Predictably as you watched it develop, Gragson ate one.
To his credit he was unfazed by the jaw shot and tried to return fire but was intercepted by what appeared to be a security guy – twice. In essence, it was the second insult that he would suffer at the hand of Chastain that day. As he was walking off, Chase Elliott stopped and said to him, “Somebody had to do it…” in regard to confronting The Melonator.
While Elliott usually doesn’t wade into things remotely controversial – I tend to agree with him.
NASCAR has had different eras of unapologetic drivers. Before Dale Earnhardt, Curtis Turner was known as “Pop,” because he’d pop the car in front of him in the middle of the corner to move him out of the way. More recently we’ve seen similar attitudes from drivers who see other cars as obstacles to success, like Carl Edwards and Joey Logano.
Kevin Harvick got into it with Edwards in the garage area once after practice with Edwards ending up on the hood of his car. Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch both came down to take a swing or throw stuff at Logano – neither of whom really…