HomeSportsNascarKyle Petty calls BS on Rick Hendrick criticism of Ross Chastain

Kyle Petty calls BS on Rick Hendrick criticism of Ross Chastain

by Steve Samra
Ross Chastain pit road Kansas
(Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kyle Petty isn’t having any of Rick Hendrick’s criticism of Ross Chastain.

Evidently, Chastain has become public enemy No. 1 over at Hendrick Motorsports. That was exasperated on Sunday, when the Trackhouse Racing wheelman got into it with Hendrick’s Kyle Larson at Darlington.

Well, Rick Hendrick didn’t take too kind to Chastain perceivably taking out his driver. In the post-race press conference, the team owner made some fascinating comments about Chastain.

“He [Chastain] doesn’t have to be that aggressive,” Hendrick said when asked, via Jeff Gluck of The Athletic. “You just don’t run people up in the fence. … He’s got talent, but he’s making a lot of enemies out here. It’s really getting old with these guys.

“… If it doesn’t change, he’s [Chastain] going to have a hard time winning a championship.”

Well, count Petty among them who’s not willing to join the hate-party when it comes to Chastain.

The NBC Sports analyst took a different road while speaking of the Trackhouse driver. Basically, he believes Chastain doesn’t fit the Hendrick mold. But that’s more than alright.

Kyle Petty on Ross Chastain, Hendrick beef: ‘Everybody is not a Hendrick style driver.’

“Let me tell you something, I don’t know if you can see my eyes, but they’re brown, and I’m fed up to my dark brown eyes with that,” Petty responded, asked about Hendrick’s comments via NBC Sports. “Somebody needs to go back in history and see guys that have driven with that much dedication. That much passion. That much friggin’ commitment, that have won championship. Cale Yarborough. I mean, we can go down a list of guys.

“Earlier I compared Ross to Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough and Dale Earnhardt Sr. — not driving style. Not driving style people. From desire. Commitment. Passion. From something that’s deep inside of him. That’s what he does. I’m sorry, that’s just what he does.”

Alas, Petty’s definition of Chastain led him to compare him to a former Hendrick driver who left and found plenty of success in Kyle Busch.

“He’s not, and let’s be honest, he is not a Rick Hendrick style driver,” added Petty. “Ross is not. Kyle Busch wasn’t. Kyle Busch has gone on to win 60+ races and two championships. You don’t — everybody’s not a Hendrick style driver. Everybody’s not a Penske style driver. But he is a Trackhouse style driver. 

“I’ll tell you what, if he was on the open-market, he’d be an RCR style driver. He would be a Stewart-Haas style driver. Ross Chastain would fit in at a lot of organizations and make them better.”

You can’t deny Ross Chastain’s talent, passion and popularity. Whether or not he remains unpopular in the garage remains to be seen, but as long as he continues running upfront, it’s all good.