Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ross Chastain completes dominant outing in Trackhouse home race

Trackhouse Racing Team is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, so it only made sense for Trackhouse driver Ross Chastain to turn Sunday’s race at Nashville Superspeedway into his finest outing as a NASCAR Cup Series driver to date. He started on the pole for the first time in his Cup career and led nearly a third of the race en route to his first victory of the 2023 season.

Chastain led 99 of 300 laps, nearly twice as many as the second most by Martin Truex Jr. Although Truex tried to catch Chastain in the closing laps, he was unable to do so.

“I first met Martin Truex Jr. at a Bass Pro Shops in Fort Myers, Florida when our local one opened,” recalled Chastain. “He signed a Chevy Trucks hat for me. Still have it on my childhood bedroom wall hanging up. The Sharpie has about faded off, barely still there. He was a hero, idol of mine.

“To go to battle against him, have criticism from him, go back and forth, then to have him air block me at Dover like he did, when I thought we were just as fast, was humbling. To go up against my heroes like that, to beat him tonight, drive by him and the #11 (Denny Hamlin), was definitely a statement. It felt good.”

Tyler Reddick and Hamlin won the first two stages, but the former was taken out of contention during green-flag stops on lap 140 when his right-rear wheel came off as he came to pit. He was held for a lap and rejoined the race two laps down, eventually having to settle for a distant thirtieth.

Reddick’s incident was one of two race-related cautions. The second and largest came on the restart following the Reddick spin when Brad Keselowski had a poor jump, causing those behind him to stack up. As they tried to dodge Keselowski, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch collided which caused the former to shoot into the inside wall, which is not reinforced by SAFER barriers.

“I don’t know why there’s no safer barrier there,” said Blaney. “That’s pretty ridiculous, honestly. Hardest hit I’ve ever had in my life.”

After the race, a particularly bizarre accident occurred when Chastain’s team-mate Daniel Suárez attempted to join him on track to celebrate, only to hit Chase Briscoe as he and the rest of the field were coming to pit road upon completing their cooldown lap.

Xfinity Series race winner A.J. Allmendinger finished tenth.

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 1 1 Ross Chastain Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 300 Running
2 6 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300 Running
3 8 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300 Running
4 14 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300 Running
5 7 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300 Running
6 5 24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300 Running
7 22 20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300 Running
8 23 43 Erik Jones Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet 300 Running
9 11 8 Kyle Busch Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300 Running
10 19 16 A.J. Allmendinger Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 300 Running
11 20 6 Brad Keselowski RFK Racing Ford 300 Running
12 10 99 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 300 Running
13 26 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300 Running
14 16 54 Ty Gibbs Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300 Running
15 9 23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota 300 Running
16 25 41 Ryan Preece Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 300 Running
17 15 48 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300 Running
18 12 17 Chris Buescher RFK Racing Ford 300 Running
19 4 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 300 Running
20 36 7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 300 Running
21 31 21 Harrison Burton Wood Brothers Racing Ford 300 Running
22 28 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 299 Running
23 3 31 Justin Haley Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 299 Running
24 17 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 299 Running
25 21 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 299 Running
26 30 42 Noah Gragson Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet 299 Running
27 24 2 Austin Cindric Team Penske Ford 299 Running
28 33 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 299 Running
29 29 51 J.J. Yeley* Rick Ware Racing Ford 298 Running
30 2 45 Tyler Reddick 23XI Racing Toyota 298 Running
31 18 14 Chase Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 298 Running
32 34 77 Ty Dillon Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 298 Running
33 32 15 Brennan Poole* Rick Ware Racing Ford 297 Running
34 35 78 Josh Bilicki* Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet 297 Running
35 27 38 Todd Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 296 Running
36 13 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 146 Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points