Denny Hamlin on Ross Chastain incident: ‘He just ran out of race track’
Denny Hamlin got back at at Ross Chastain on Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Hamlin had been wrecked twice by Chastain since early June. After an incident at Atlanta earlier this month, Hamlin said he had “reached (his) peak” with Chastain.
Hamlin earned a mode of payback late in Sunday’s race.
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Hamlin and Chastain restarted together on the front row with 18 laps left. Hamlin was on the inside and Chastain on the outside.
As the field went through Turn 1, Hamlin and Chastain were side-by-side. Hamlin moved Chastain up the track. Chastain got out of the groove and drifted into the wall and was struck by Kevin Harvick’s car, ending Chastain’s race.
“I think that’s something that has been owed me for a few months now,” Chastain told NBC’s Parker Kligerman.
Asked if he felt the score was settled, Chastain said: “I don’t know.”
Hamlin discussed the issue with NBC’s Marty Snider after the race.
Asked if that was payback, Hamlin said: “What would you want me to do? What would you expect me to do? I got position on him, and he just ran out of race track.”
Asked if it was over now with Chastain, Hamlin said: “We’re just going to keep racing hard until we get the respect back from these guys. We’ve been wrecked four times, twice while leading in the last 10 months and I’m at the end of it.”
Chastain wrecked Hamlin at World Wide Technology Raceway. At one point, Hamlin was in front of Chastain and significantly slowed during the event. Eventually, NASCAR told Hamlin to stop the gamesmanship. Chastain apologized afterward, but Hamlin was frustrated with Chastain.
At Atlanta, contact from Chastain turned Hamlin.
But Hamlin’s day didn’t end well. Although he crossed the finish line first, NASCAR stripped Hamlin of his win about two hours later when his car failed post-race inspection. Teammate Kyle Busch’s car also failed post-race inspection, giving the win to Chase Elliott.