HomeSportsNascarJeff Burton: Ross Chastain ‘crossed the line’ at Darlington

Jeff Burton: Ross Chastain ‘crossed the line’ at Darlington

by Nick Geddes
Ross Chastain
(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

One could argue that Ross Chastain has crossed the proverbial line on more than one occasion during his NASCAR Cup Series career.

Jeff Burton, a 21-time winner in the Cup Series, certainly feels that Chastain went too far during this past Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Leading the race going into the second-to-last restart and looking for his first win of the 2023 season, Chastain squeezed Kyle Larson up against the wall in Turn 1, turning himself in the process. The incident knocked both out of contention, and led to William Byron claiming his third win of the campaign.

“Is Chastain super aggressive there? There is no question,” Burton said on NASCAR America Motormouths Monday. “Did he cross a line? In my eyes, yes, he crossed the line. But Larson was super aggressive on his restart also. He got into the side of Chastain. So, it was two drivers going at it, and we saw two wrecks on the last two restarts.”

Chastain’s on-track actions came one week after he was involved in a pit road brawl with Noah Gragson following the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway. Though the eighth-generation watermelon farmer is one of the most talented drivers in the Cup Series, his antics are starting to wear thin among his fellow competitors.

Chastain, the points standings leader, explained the incident with Larson after being released from the infield care center.

“Full commit into [Turn 1] and I got really tight and drove up and turned myself,” Chastain said. “I wanted to squeeze him, I wanted to push him up. We had been trading back and forth all day and I wanted to push him up for sure but definitely didn’t want to turn myself into the wall.”

Trackhouse Racing co-owner Justin Marks says they’re ‘aggressively handling’ Ross Chastain situation

Chastain’s continued blow-ups on the race track led to Trackhouse Racing co-owner Justin Marks publicly admitting he has some things he needs to “clean up.”

“The important message here is that we are a believer in Ross’ talent. That’s obvious. He’s very fast,” Marks said on SiriusXM Nascar Radio Monday. “But he’s got some things he’s got to clean up. I mean, I’ll just be totally honest with you. And today, we started a process of more aggressively handling that with our partners, with Ross, and with our team. Not because necessarily we’re mad at him, but because there is so much opportunity here.”