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Noah Gragson added his name to a growing list of drivers unhappy with Ross Chastain after an incident a few weeks ago at Talladega. During Sunday’s Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, it happened again. After the race, the rookie driver had had enough and felt it was time to respond.

He did. Kind of. The 24-year-old confronted the Trackhouse Racing driver on pit road and got physical, but it turns out he was the one who took a punch to the face before officials intervened. Interestingly, seconds after the altercation ended, Chase Elliott walked by and delivered a surprising message to the young driver.  

Noah Gragson upset with Ross Chastain’s aggressive driving for second time in three weeks

Noah Gragson waves to crowd.
Noah Gragson waves to fans as he walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400 at Dover International Speedway on May 01, 2023. | Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Two weeks ago at the end of the race at Talladega, Noah Gragson slightly slid up the track on a restart and left a gap in the middle of the front row. The ever-aggressive Ross Chastain, who started in the second row, viewed it as an opportunity, drove into it, and made contact with the No. 42, which veered off to the right for a hard impact into the wall. 

The Legacy MC driver addressed the situation with Chastain after the race. 

Chapter 2 happened on Sunday in Kansas. With 65 laps to go, the pair were battling for 14th position coming out of Turn 4 when the rookie felt that the Trackhouse driver didn’t give him enough room and squeezed him into the fence. He responded and showed his displeasure moments later by driving down the track into the side of the No. 1 car. 

It was a precursor of things to come. 

Gragson and Chastain get physical

When the race on the 1.5-mile track ended almost an hour later, Gragson finished 29th. Chastain finished fifth. Moments after taking the checkered flag, the Legacy driver was seeing red and exited his car on pit road with a purpose. He wanted to pay the No. 1 pilot a visit. 

A few minutes later, he arrived at the front of the grid, walked toward the No. 1 car and got face-to-face with Chastain. Things rapidly escalated as the younger driver dropped several f-bombs before grabbing the firesuit on the chest of the Trackhouse driver and pushing him backward. 

The watermelon farmer warned him to stop a couple of times before delivering a hard right to the face of Gragson. It was over as quickly as it started because NASCAR officials standing nearby promptly intervened. 

Elliott delivers quick message to Gragson

Moments after the two drivers were separated and Noah Gragson was still being restrained, Chase Elliott walked by on pit road.

“Somebody’s gotta do it,” he turned and told the driver.  

Several minutes later, Gragson visited with reporters and talked about what happened and the comments from the 2020 Cup champion.

“I don’t get it. He just completely used us up and fenced the s*** out of us,” Gragson said. “I am not going to tear the Trackhouse guys stuff up. I respect their hard work and everything. Nobody confronts the guy. I went down there and grabbed him and showed my displeasure. I’m sick and tired of it.”

“The guy just runs into everyone. When you got guys like Chase Elliott, other guys telling you to go beat his ass. Everyone’s just sick and tired of him but nobody has the balls to go up and get him. I’m tired of it.”

While it obviously wasn’t the end result Gragson had in mind, the fact that he did it means something. As he said, he did what a lot of drivers have talked about, but no one has acted on it. And he paid a price.

But you can bet that going forward whenever Chastain gets around the No. 42 car, he won’t forget what happened post-race at Kansas. That doesn’t mean the Trackhouse driver won’t be aggressive, but at least he’ll know with the rookie that there might be consequences to his actions. That’s more than all of the veterans in the garage can say.

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