NASCAR: Ross Chastain Reflects on Second-Place Finish at Homestead-Miami, Looking Ahead to Martinsville

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

On Sunday Ross Chastain was close to clinching an automatic berth to the NASCAR Championship 4, now he’s looking forward to Martinsville. The runner-up finish was hard-fought. Kyle Larson had a rocket under him at Homestead-Miami. Chastain didn’t feel bad about his performance at all.

If it wasn’t for the persistent AJ Allmendinger, Ross Chastain might have found enough clean air to make a better run at Larson. However, the battle between the 16 and the 1 was awesome. Those two drivers are good friends and love to race each other.

“Yeah look, AJ and I have a pretty good history of racing together and against each other and as teammates. And he’s taught me a ton. I lost a lot of that friendship earlier in the year, and I’ve tried to pay it back and tried to do things. … It was so fun,” Chastain said, echoing Allmendinger’s thoughts, via Fronstretch.

Ross Chastain Focused on Martinsville

The Trackhouse Racing driver does have his eyes on the next race. Almost as soon as he got out of the car, he was talking about Martinsville. Getting a grandfather clock and a Championship 4 bid would be major for Ross Chastain.

“I’m late all the time so a grandfather clock might do me good for the rest of my life,” he said.

Chastain went on to talk about what it would mean to make the championship race.

“It’s just a life goal, a career accomplishment. Just to make it to the Cup Series, be here competing with my heroes, I’ve trained with Kyle and he was better than us today. But [he] ran into the 19, knocked his diffuser flap down, he didn’t have as quite as much grip and we had a shot at it, right? I feel like no matter what this season is going to be a success.”

Homestead-Miami was the second straight runner-up finish for Chastain. The entire Trackhouse organization has been the surprise of the season. Moving forward, the No. 1 is going to have a chance at one more checkered flag in the Round of 8. A lot of folks counted him out, but it looks like Chastain is in a good position to get into the next round.

We still have not seen retaliation from Denny Hamlin or others. Could it be that NASCAR rivalries aren’t as heated as in the past? Two more races this year to get payback.