It is Monday and that means Denny Hamlin has a new podcast episode out. He’s got lots of takes again this week after Darlington. Hamlin is in the business of entertainment on and off the track and his favorite topic is his rivalry with Ross Chastain. It helps that Ross stays in the headlines.
This week, Denny Hamlin brought something up that bothers him. Why doesn’t Chastain have more wins? He’s been really fast ever since he got with Trackhouse Racing. So, why not more than just COTA and Talladega from last year?
Hamlin addressed the point while talking about the end of the Goodyear 400.
“It’s interesting because people talk about all the time, well he [Chastain] never gets the bad end of his stuff,” Hamlin said on Actions Detrimental. “He did this week, right? That part of it caught up. But I think it goes unspoken, it gets overlooked that he should be winning a lot more than he is. He’s only won two races and one of them was on the road course and there was contact in that one. You would think he’d be winning, as fast as he is and he’s upfront every week, as stellar as his pit crew is, he should be winning more. Definitely should be winning more.”
Ross was in position to race for the win. He and Larson got too aggressive with each other and the No. 1 ended up paying for it this time around.
Is Denny Hamlin right about Ross Chastain?
Now, NASCAR wins aren’t easy to come by. Even when you run up front and do all the right things, they can be elusive. Ask Martin Truex Jr. Ask a guy like Ryan Blaney or Brad Keselowski. Denny Hamlin’s point is that Chastain’s reckless driving has cost him more than we realize.
“What I’m saying to you is that perhaps if he was on the better side of some of the drivers he would get a bit of a break here and there,” Hamlin explained. “His races would go a little less confrontational. Because no one is cutting him a break so there is always contact with him because no one is willing to just say ‘Okay, come on by. You’ve cut me a break so come on by.’
“So there’s not as much give and take probably with him, guys are going to race him more aggressively. Which in turn, he races aggressive so that equals the contact. That is in turn, maybe why he’s not winning as much. There could be no fact behind that but I’m just saying, it might not be a coincidence.”
Now, I would argue that there are drivers just as talented and in just as good of equipment as Chastain that haven’t done what he’s done. After all, he’s at the top of the points standing for another week. This likely has more to do with Denny Hamlin’s bias against Chastain than anything else.