Finally, Noah Gragson got tired of Ross Chastain and decided to do something about it.
Chastain, who has angered many NASCAR drivers this season with his aggression on the track, found himself in a heated confrontation with Gragson in the Kansas Cup, held at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday.
He got in with Gragson with about 60 laps to go and sent him spinning, and Gragson walked up to the Trackhouse Racing driver afterwards to announce his displeasure.
Gragson got his hands on Chastain, who responded with a sweeping right hook that looked like he connected.
Gragson attempted to return the punch, but was pulled back by security and NASCAR officials.
“I’m sick and tired of him,” Gragson said of Chastain’s leadership style. “The man encounters everyone. When you have guys like Chase Elliott and other guys asking you to beat his ass, everybody gets sick of it.”
Denny Hamlin won the race, Chastain was fifth and Gragson 29th.
Chastain accepted some blame on the spin but didn’t have much to say about the punch.
“Four definitely judged me,” Chastain said. “Noah and I had a very similar situation on the track. We train together, we prepare together, we know a little about each other. I definitely crowded it out of four.”
It doesn’t seem like this is the first time Chastain has done something to piss off Gragson on the track.
In a post-race interview at the track, Gragson said Chastain “took care of us, too.”
“We’re Chevrolet mates,” Gragson said. “You didn’t work with us there and then we got walled in here and I just got over it. Nobody has the balls at least to contend with him. So if you don’t at least hold him and do something, he will keep doing it. I got over it. It’s the second time.”
Kyle Busch had slammed Chastain on the radio before spinning out of the race on the restart.
Then, Busch seemed to target the next-generation car’s performance, which he said made it too difficult to pass.
“It’s not racing like it used to be,” he said after uttering an expletive on the air. “You’re faster than the guy, you’re running him at three-tenths of a lap and you’re stopping when you get there. Part of it is the car. They can block you, pinch you, burn your tires, do everything else to maintain their position, and then get passed from behind. Very frustrating.”
— with A.P