NASCAR: Ross Chastain Loses His Lead After Hitting Wall at Atlanta

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

NASCAR is tricky and Ross Chastain learned that the new Atlanta track makes things even trickier. He lost his lead before the end of Stage 1. When you start to add up those points at the end of the season, it is moments like this that might determine 16th place and 17th. There is no way to know, but Chastain would have liked to collect that first stage.

That No.1 car just couldn’t keep it going in the front. He fishtailed out a little while drifting up towards the top of the track, and the wall came into him quick. That’s the way these things seem to go when watching from above. Amazingly, no one else got caught up in the incident. And, his car didn’t look too bad at first. But, his day is going to be effectively over.

This could have been the big one and early on in the race, too. However, Chastain avoided wiping out the field, thankfully. There has been nothing but talk from these drivers that something big is going to happen on the track at some point. Honestly, it might not just be one moment that does it.

What ends up being some good old NASCAR bad luck for Ross Chastain in Atlanta ends up being Will Byron’s gain. Byron came across the line to take the first stage in caution. Byron wants to find himself near the front and with a chance to get his No. 24 car into a top-5 finish if not Victory Lane. He’s gonna have to battle some tough drivers to do it.

One of those drivers is Kurt Busch. His Toyota is racing well, and the manufacturer would like to see a win.

NASCAR: Ross Chastain Crashes Out and Others Look to Take Advantage

When you see a strong driver like Ross Chastain crash out early, it can make a driver nervous. However, it is also a good time to take advantage. These drivers are cutthroat out on the track. So, with any mistake, they will try to avoid wrecking their own car and move on to the restart. Can’t collect a checkered flag if your car doesn’t make it over the line.

This has been the year of the young drivers it seems. Outside of the amazing work of Kyle Larson, the defending regular-season and postseason Cup Series champ. However, guys like Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Byron, and others are all in the mix for a win today through the early stages.

Everyone is going to be gripping their wheels and waiting for that first big wreck that takes out the front of the field. We hope it doesn’t happen, but with the fast speeds and close drafting of this newly paved track, it might only be a matter of when, not if.