LEBANON, TENN. — Ross Chastain ended weeks of controversy and struggles with a hometown win Sunday for Trackhouse Racing at Nashville Superspeedway.
Chastain drew ire from Rick Hendrick and others after a controversial wreck at Darlington. After that, the Trackhouse racer showed little speed and finished 22nd twice and 10th at Sonoma.
Sunday was different. He led 99 of 300 laps (most) and earned his third NASCAR Cup Series win after several challenges from Martin Truex Jr.
This is Chastain’s first Cup Series win on a non-draft-dependent track. It’s also his first win since Talladega in April 2022 and Circuit of the Americas in March 2022.
Truex settled for second, 0.789 seconds back. He lost stage two to teammate Denny Hamlin but then dogged him and leapfrogged him on pit road.
The two-time winner in 2023 couldn’t make it three as he admittedly overdrove the car after green-flag pit stops.
Hamlin finished third, won stage two and led three times for 81 laps, the second-most behind Chastain. Chastain passed him for the final on-track lead change with 70 laps to go.
For the first time in 2023, Erik Jones and A.J. Allmendinger each earned their first top-10 finish on a non-draft-dependent oval. They finished 8th and 10th Sunday, respectively.
The top 10 is as follows: Chastain, Truex, Hamlin, Chase Elliott (led one lap), Kyle Larson, William Byron (led twice for 5 laps), Christopher Bell (led 3 laps), Jones, Kyle Busch (led 12 laps), Allmendinger
Through the Field
Ryan Blaney finished 36th and was the only driver who didn’t finish the race. Instead, his race ended with a hard, head-on hit on lap 148 restart when the field slowed in front of him.
Blaney hit a non-SAFER barrier part of the wall. At the infield care center, he candidly told reporters, “I’d pay for the f-cking thing myself.”
Kevin Harvick finished 24th after having a flat right-rear tire while challenging the top three before green-flag stops.
Tyler Reddick started second and won stage one but finished 30th, two laps down. He spun on lap 140 after his right-rear wheel fell off.
First stage: Reddick, Chastain, Byron, Truex, Hamlin, Elliott, Busch, Larson, bell, Allmendinger
Second stage: Hamlin, Truex, Chastain, Byron, Bell, Bubba Wallace, Elliott, Allmendinger, Harvick, Jones
Brad Keselowski (+99 points), Chris Buescher (+98), Bubba Wallace (+30), Daniel Suarez (+2), Alex Bowman (-2 points), Ty Gibbs (-10), A.J. Allmendinger (-24), Michael McDowell (-27), Corey LaJoie (-45), Austin Cindric (-51), Justin Haley (-55), Ryan Preece (-63), Chase Elliott (-64)
Nine races remain until the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, including three road/street courses. The first one is the Chicago Street Course, where the series races next July 2 (Broadcast: NBC, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio; 5:30 p.m. ET)