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Ross Chastain and his aggressive driving last weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway has been a hot topic of conversation this week after a pair of separate incidents with Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott. Some have said the Trackhouse Racing driver needs to tone it down. Others have suggested it’s who he is, and there’s no need to change. 

While opinions are divided on his style, one thing almost everyone can agree on is the watermelon farmer’s apology following the race was over the top and felt less than sincere. This week Jeff Burton added his name to the list.  

Ross Chastain starts incidents with Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott and profusely apologizes afterward

Ross Chastain has been an aggressive driver his entire career. It’s been that way this season (see COTA and Dover). Nothing changed at the inaugural Cup Series race at WWT Raceway outside of St. Louis when he dumped Denny Hamlin and spun Chase Elliott, both in Stage 2.

Moments after the race, Fox’s Jamie Little caught up with the driver and talked to him about what had happened. 

“Just terrible driving, Jamie,” the driver began. “It’s one thing to do it once but I just kept driving into guys. At this level, I’m supposed to be better than that. Such a shame for Moose and Advent Health and Jockey and Worldwide Express. Have all these people believing in me and Justin Marks and Pitbull put me in this car. They deserve better.”

“Will you go talk to them?” the reporter asked.

“I will,” Chastain said. “I owe half the field an apology. Words aren’t going to fix it so I’ll have to pay for it on the track. Almost did today and I deserve everything that they do. I can’t believe that I continue to make the same mistakes and overdrive the corners and drive into guys. I had time under caution to get reset and we go green and I drive into somebody. Terrible.” 

Jeff Burton calls out Chastain

Terrible driving? Mistakes? For those who’ve watched the driver’s career, it wasn’t terrible driving. Those weren’t mistakes. That was Ross Chastain in his purest form.

This week on the Mark, Mamba, and The Mayor podcast, the guys discussed Chastain’s aggressive racing style and how it was all on display near St. Louis. Jeff Burton specifically brought up the postrace apology and felt the same as many fans when he heard it. 

“It’s just interesting to see how people handle different things,” Burton said. “Ross at World Wide Technology, I appreciate the apology, but enough is enough. Like, ‘Hey, I did it. It’s my fault. Hard racing. I’m sorry. I got to go make it right with those guys.’

“But it’s enough. Like you’ve done enough. I think you go so far sometimes that people don’t believe you. You know what I mean. I’ve seen that happen multiple times where you take it so far that you’re trying to sell it. And people are like, ‘OK, that may not be genuine.’ Ross has to consider being real, being genuine, but not taking it so far.” 

Dale Earnhardt thinks Chastain is ‘mocking us’


Fox Butchers NASCAR Coverage During First-Ever Cup Series Race at WWT Raceway, Completely Missing Multiple Dramatic Moments

Jeff Burton isn’t the only respected former driver to speak out about Chastain’s postrace mea culpa. Dale Earnhardt Jr. threw in his two cents earlier this week on his podcast. 

The two-time Daytona 500 winner interestingly compared the Trackhouse driver’s comments to a kid who’s shoplifted candy from a store and thinks if he apologizes enough that he’ll somehow get to keep the candy.

“His words after the race were bulls***,” Earnhardt bluntly admitted. “He poured it on so thick. I don’t know, man. At one point, I almost thought he might be mocking us or something. He’s trolling us. It got so thick there. He was going on and on just repeating himself at times.”

If Earnhardt and Burton are in agreement about something, whatever it may be, their opinions are typically right on the mark. In this case, they are absolutely spot on about the driver’s display following Sunday’s race.

For Chastain, if he has any hope of one day approaching the level of respect as the two drivers, he will need to continue winning races, and listen to the constructive criticism from folks like Burton and Earnhardt and start being more sincere when owning up to his mistakes.

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