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

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

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

Another week, another controversy involving Ross Chastain, the most polarizing driver in the NASCAR Cup Series.

The latest example of “Chastained” occurred during the second-to-last restart in Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. With Chastain leading the race and looking for his first victory of the 2023 season, his overaggressiveness cost him.

And it might turn into an aggressive response from Trackhouse Racing co-owner Justin Marks. Following the accident which took both Chastain and Kyle Larson out of contention, leading to William Byron’s victory, Marks admitted Chastain 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.”

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.”

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.

Ross Chastain making more enemies on the race track

“I’m over it,” Gragson said after being on the receiving end of a right-hand from Chastain. “It’s the second time. I have respect for Justin Marks and the rest of the Trackhouse team, but that’s why I’m not wrecking him on the race track… but I’m ready to fight him. I didn’t even get a shot in because the security guards got in the middle of it. But nobody confronts the guy. He keeps doing it, and I’m sick and tired of it.”

Gragson’s sentiments were echoed Sunday by Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick.

“He [Chastain] doesn’t have to be that aggressive,” Hendrick said, 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.”