Ross Chastain wins at COTA in overtime for first Cup victory
After coming close multiple times this season, Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.
Chastain, who had finished in the top three in each of the last three races, gave Trackhouse Racing its first career victory in an overtime finish that featured plenty of beating and banging.
“Oh my God Justin, we did it,” Chastain screamed to car owner Justin Marks on the team’s radio after taking the checkered flag.
MORE: Race results
Chastain led at the start of the last lap on the 3.41-mile road course. Allmendinger was second. Allmendinger bumped Chastain in Turn 15 on the 20-turn course and took the lead as Chastain swung wide in the left-hand turn.
Chastain bumped Allmendinger in Turn 17, as Bowman moved by both to briefly lead. Chastain hit Allmendinger again in Turn 19 and the contact sent Allmendinger’s car up the track and into Bowman’s car. Allmendinger spun and Bowman was forced wide. Chastain regained the lead and pulled away.
“I know he’s going to be upset with me,” Chastain told Fox Sports, referring to Allmendinger. “We race hard, both of us and. He owes me one. When it comes to a Cup win, I can’t let that go down without a fight.”
Allmendinger, who finished 33rd, told Fox Sports: “At the end of the day, we all have to look ourselves in the mirror. If you are okay with it, you’re okay with it. Each person is different.”
Bowman finished second and was followed by Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott and Tyler Reddick. Ryan Blaney was sixth and followed by Martin Truex Jr., Austin Cindric, Erik Jones and Austin Dillon.
The victory by the 29-year-old Chastain marked the 12th consecutive points race a Cup driver 30 or under has won.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Daniel Suarez
STAGE 2 WINNER: Denny Hamlin
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Trackhouse Racing won a stage (Daniel Suarez) and won the race with Ross Chastain. The two drivers combined to lead 46 of the 69 laps. ... Christopher Bell, who entered the race with an average finish of 25.8 this year, finished a season-best third despite losing power steering. ... Erik Jones overcame a stall to finish ninth for his second top 10 of the year. ... Austin Dillon’s 10th-place finish was his first top 10 in 23 career starts in Cup on a road course.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: After winning the first stage, Daniel Suarez spun in Turn 1 on the restart and suffered a flat left rear tire. He never regained track position and finished 24th. ... Bubba Wallace finished 38th after a wheel came off his car. That likely will lead to a four-race suspension for his crew chief and two pit crew members. The penalty should be announced early this week.
NOTABLE: Three of the first six Cup races have been won by a driver scoring their first career victory: Austin Cindric (Daytona 500), Chase Briscoe (Phoenix) and Ross Chastain (COTA). The last time there were three first-time Cup winners within the first six races was 2001. Those winners were: Michael Waltrip (Daytona 500), Kevin Harvick (Atlanta) and Elliott Sadler (Bristol).
NEXT: The series races April 3 at Richmond Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on Fox)