Cup drivers’ subtle revenge is costing Ross Chastain Cup wins, and it’s making his duels more aggressive, reckons Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin might be becoming a Ross Chastain ally after being his arch-rival fort for so long.


Cup drivers’ subtle revenge is costing Ross Chastain Cup wins, and it’s making his duels more aggressive, reckons Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain

Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain have shared one of the most heated rivalries in the Next-Gen car era. They share some heated moments on the track in 2022 and the start of the 2023 season. None of these tussles excited to any off-track incidents. But right now, the drivers are not sharing the same rivalry.

Chastain’s aggressive driving has made him a few more enemies in the garage. He hasn’t had a clash with Hamlin recently. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, via his podcast Action Detrimental,  has been speaking positively about his Chevy rival more and is criticizing him less. He has pointed out that the Florida native, though a bit aggressive, has what it takes to be a superstar of the sport.

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In a recent podcast episode, Denny Hamlin said that a section of fans have been demanding drivers get back at Ross Chastain. He added they might have missed the extra aggressive moves by the Cup drivers when racing the No:1 driver. He speculates that the drivers are not giving him enough room on the track and are making him take drastic moves to get it.

People are thinking, ‘Well, when’s someone gonna do something with Chastain or whatever?’ Maybe they are, and we just aren’t seeing it. Maybe people aren’t cutting him as much room as they would normally. Which is resulting in these contacts happening,” Denny Hamlin said.

In case you missed it: Jeff Gordon calls out NASCAR for failing to sanction Ross Chastain for restart infraction

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Denny Hamlin gives his take on why Ross Chastain is not winning races

Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin 1
Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin

Hamlin pointed out that NASCAR fans often overlook that Chastain isn’t winning races as much as he should. He has the team to win those amounts of races, but he isn’t doing it. He said, “As fast as he is – he’s upfront every week – as stellar is his pit crew is, he should be winning more,”.

The 23XI co-owner says that Chastin has worn out his welcome among many drivers, and they are forcing him to make more contact on the tracks. They are not letting him break as much as they allow others, and he is forced to be aggressive. Hamlin said though he doesn’t have any substantial evidence to prove his claims, he doesn’t see it as a coincidence.

“Perhaps if he was on the better side of some of the drivers, he would get a break here and there and his races would go a little less confrontational …You cut me a break, so come on by.’ So, there’s not as much give and take probably with him. Guys are gonna race him more aggressively, which in turn, he races aggressively…I’m just saying it might not be a coincidence,” Hamlin added.

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