Denny Hamlin has had it with Ross Chastain and wasn’t shy about sharing his feelings about his new rival following Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As they did last month at Gateway, Hamlin and Chastain tangled during Sunday’s Quaker State 400, an incident that ruined the former’s chances of earning a third victory for the season.
And Hamlin, as he himself puts it, has reached his peak with the “Melon Man.”
Ross Chastain ruined Denny Hamlin’s day at Atlanta
With less than 15 laps remaining in the 260-lap run on Atlanta’s 1.54-mile quad-oval, both Hamlin and Chastain were running fourth and fifth, respectively, behind Martin Truex Jr., Corey LaJoie, and eventual winner Chase Elliott.
But as the field was heading into lap 247, Chastain’s No. 1 Chevy made contact with the left-rear quarter panel of Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota, turning it sideways across the asphalt. Brad Keselowski was collected in the incident as well, and Chastain hit Hamlin again as the No. 11 completely spun out.
The wreck didn’t end Hamlin’s day as he was running when Elliott crossed the finish line. But he was a lap down and ultimately finished 25th.
On the other hand, Chastain was the runner-up and earned 45 points compared to Hamlin’s 15.
Hamlin has reached his peak with Chastain
Following the race, Hamlin was asked several questions on his overall thoughts on Chastain, who’s developed a reputation this season for being somewhat of a dirty driver. And the 23XI Racing co-owner made it clear that he’s fed up.
“It’s all in whatever level I’m willing to take.
“It’s just another unfortunate circumstance for him.
“I think it’s everyone has their different tolerance levels. And you guys know I’ve reached my peak.”Denny Hamlin on Ross Chastain
Hamlin later expressed how he thought he gave up plenty of room on the high side and that Chastain “probably saw we were going to clear,” which wouldn’t have been ideal for the latter’s positioning. He continued by saying every driver makes decisions, and sometimes one has to pay for those decisions.
Ross Chastain seems to be the target for a few different drivers these days, and Denny Hamlin may have moved himself to the top of that list. They’ll be back on the track together this Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Stats courtesy of Racing Reference