HomeSportsNascarNASCAR Monday Mash-Up: Throwback Weekend, Cousin Carl returns, and another Chastain moment

NASCAR Monday Mash-Up: Throwback Weekend, Cousin Carl returns, and another Chastain moment

by Jonathan Howard
William Byron wins NASCAR Goodyear 400
(Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images)

What a weekend at Darlington! NASCAR Throwback Weekend was very entertaining and we had a lot going on both on and off the track. The Lady in Black provided us with some green flag racing, cautions breeding cautions, some superspeedway-style wrecks, and a familiar face returned.

To start the weekend, the talk was all about Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson’s fistfight in Kansas. Almost every driver gave their own takes about what they want to see from fights, and how they want NASCAR to get involved if at all.

We had great racing Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday. You just love seeing a complete weekend like this. With all of the fanfare, amazing throwback schemes, celebrating NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers, and a legendary track like Darlington. Let’s not forget Carl Edwards made his triumphant return to a NASCAR event for the first time since he retired.

Truck Series runs clean, Xfinity Series hit with the big one

On Friday night, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series put on a hell of a show. When the racing is bad in that series, it means guys are losing control, driving wild, and causing too much damage. When it is good, you see a glimpse of NASCAR’s future stars.

Watch this move by Rajah Caruth up the wall and then all of the saves throughout the field.

After the Truck Series action was through, Christian Eckes was once again in Victory Lane. The No. 19 looks really fast this season and with two wins under his belt, Eckes is a real championship contender.

Following the action on Friday, we got to watch Kyle Larson in the Xfinity Series. He was dominant for most of the race. During a messy Stage 2, this superspeedway-style wreck caused by Sheldon Creed was the biggest Xfinity Series wreck since Daytona 2019.

Larson was fast all day. Then, during the break between Stages 2 and 3, Larson sped on pit road. He went from P2 to P30 on the restart.

Of course, Larson might be the best driver in NASCAR if not all of motorsports. So, you knew he was coming back. A caution really helped him set up to make this last-lap move on Nemechek. This was the best finish of the weekend and one of the best Xfinity finishes in recent memory.

That’s what makes Larson one of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers.

Willy B wins, Ross Chastain makes a powerful NASCAR enemy

The Cup Series race was fun to watch on Sunday. You had Martin Truex Jr. and Bubba Wallace showing out in Stage 1 with a late appearance (foreshadowing?) from William Byron. Truex went on to continue a strong day, while Wallace struggled until the final stage after a terrible pit stop.

We had a ton of green flag racing and eventually, Larson and Ross Chastain made their way up front. This Stage 3 wreck triggered by Truex set us up for a weird finish.

Following this wreck, cars that were seemingly caught up in the chaos were allowed to keep their position based on the prior loop.

Then, Chastain and Larson couldn’t avoid one another.

This set up a restart where damaged cars, the 4, 6, and 9, started ahead of cars with little to no damage. Harvick starts P2 on the restart next to William Byron, and the 24 runs away with the win on the final green-white-checkered as faster cars got boxed out on the restart.

Wallace sure wasn’t happy about any of it. He called the NASCAR decision “comical” afterward. Another weekend, another controversial finish. As for Chastain, he might want to look over his shoulder now. He’s officially been called out by Rick Hendrick himself. That’s an enemy in NASCAR that you really don’t want to have.

Now the NASCAR Cup Series turns to the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro. Talk about a throwback!