“This is not hockey,” Ross Chastain reveals what triggered him to hit Noah Gragson in the face

Ross Chastain has earned the reputation of the next Dale Earnhardt with his aggressive racing.

“This is not hockey,” Ross Chastain reveals what triggered him to hit Noah Gragson in the face

Ross Chastain punsches Noah Gragson

Ross Chastain made headlines last week after the Kansas Cup race for all the wrong reasons. He had a heated confrontation that ended in him punching rookie Noah Gragson in the face. An incident prompted the fight during the race among the duo that ended the youngster’s race and subsequently fuelled his rage.


Ahead of the Darlington throwback weekend Cup race on Sunday, the No:1 Chevy Camaro ZL1 driver revealed what triggered him during the confrontation to punch first. He pointed out that he hit the No:42 Chevy driver in the heat of the moment, and Noah Gragson went a bit too far while confronting him. He added that he likes conversing with his rivals, but there is a boundary that shouldn’t be reached.

I don’t have any preconceived ideas of what that would be. It’s more just in the moment – living and reacting. But knowing this is big-time auto racing, this is not hockey. I standby last week what happened. I’m not saying that every time in a little bit different situation it’s going to react like that. I want to talk to guys and have conversations, but last week was too far,” Ross Chastain said at Darlington.

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Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson are on good terms now

Noah and Ross
Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain

The duo is among a selected few in the current grid that has a unique flair for their character and personality. As both drivers represent the Chevy garage, they often train together and have a good bond before the fight. This helped them to solve the issue quickly.

They had a good conversation on the phone on Monday while Chastain was on his way to a late model race. Thanks to Chevy, they could bond in a sprint car event at Millbridge on Monday night itself.  They have been able to bond with each other at the Chevy gym as well.

Yeah, he called me Sunday night. I was still in the garage, and I didn’t feel like I had the bandwidth to think about it or talk about it. I was happy we got out of there with a top-five and was ready to get home. I called him back Monday. I was heading up to Hickory to run a late-model stock,” Chastain said.

So, I called him on my way up there. We talked for a little while and were in a really good place. And then we both went to Millbridge Monday night, and with the Chevy program; we ran micros and had a blast. Just bonded over fast, little sprint cars. It was good – just laughing and joking, and we’ve been good at the gym all week,” Chastain added.