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'I'm Sick and Tired of It:' Noah Gragson Fumes after Ross Chastain Punches Him in Face During Post-Race Fracas
Gragson and Chastain made contact during the race at Kansas Speedway, but the real fireworks flew after the checkered flag waved.
Let’s be real: Ross Chastain’s aggressive driving style has drawn the ire of damn near everyone in the NASCAR Cup Series. He’s infuriated drivers so much so that even wily vets like Denny Hamlin have thrown caution to the wind and not only sought retaliation against the Watermelon Man, but also felt no compunction about publicly admitting to it, even though it'd mean penalties from the league. Just last week, after tangling with him at Dover, Brennan Poole said Chastain "probably needs to get his butt whooped.” Now, it's clear his list of NASCAR enemies is growing further to include rookie Noah Gragson. The pair got into an altercation in pit road after the conclusion of the Adventhealth 400 in Kansas, with Chastain even throwing a punch at his incensed younger competitor.
What happened between Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson on the track?
By all accounts, Sunday’s race featured all the nail-biting action NASCAR fans want, but it wasn’t the Kansas Speedway record of 37 lead changes that they’ll remember, or Hamlin edging out Kyle Larson to take the checkered flag. No, it'll be Chastain vs. Gragson. With 60 laps left to go in the race, Gragson and Chastain were powering into Turn 4 when trouble flared. Piloting the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro for Trackhouse Racing, Chastain edged up into Gragson, putting the Legacy Motor Club rookie into the wall in a similar fashion to how Hamlin fenced Chastain earlier in the season at Phoenix. Gragson, driving the No. 42 Chevy, washed out and, understandably, he took offense to the maneuver, letting Chastain know after the race.
A clearly angry Gragson approached Chastain on pit road to air his grievances. While it seemed that the two might just exchange words, Gragson reached out and grabbed Chastain by the fire suit, up around his right shoulder. After a momentary tussle, Chastain let loose a right cross, connecting with Gragson's face. Gragson was poised to punch back, but NASCAR officials were quick to jump in and break up the two drivers before things escalated further.
What did Noah Gragson say after the fracas with Ross Chastain?
Gragson spoke to a Fronstretch reporter immediately following the incident.
“He just fenced us off of [Turn] 4 [with] 60 laps to go in the race,” noted Gragson. “I don’t get it. Completely used us up and fenced the s–t out of us. I’m not going to tear the Trackhouse guys’ stuff up, I respect their hard work, but, you know, nobody confronts the guy. I went down there and grabbed him and showed my displeasure.”
“I’m sick and tired of it, and the guy just runs into everyone,” Gragson continued. “When you got guys like Chase Elliott and other guys telling you to go beat his ass, you know, everyone’s just sick and tired of him, but nobody has the balls to go up and get him. I’m tired of it.”
“Everybody else races super hard but super respectful, and you got one douchebag in the field who doesn’t.”
What did Ross Chastain say about the altercation?
Speaking to reporters, Chastain seemed hardly phased by his post-race altercation with Gragson, even chuckling at one point.
“I got tight off of [Turn] 4 for sure, and Noah and I have a very similar attitude on the race track,” laughed Chastain, according to NASCAR.com. “We train together and prepare together, and we know every little bit about each other. I definitely crowded him up off of [Turn] 4, and he took a swipe at us on [Turn] 3, and then he came down and grabbed ahold of me, and a very big man once told me we have a ‘no push’ policy at Trackhouse.”
Following a quick breather at his hauler, the Watermelon Man told reporters that he wasn’t surprised that Gragson confronted him.
No word yet on any disciplinary measures from NASCAR.