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Kyle Busch was just one of several drivers Ross Chastain rubbed the wrong way in 2022. But at the end of the season, the Trackhouse Racing driver flipped the script when he pulled off a once-in-a-lifetime move that converted those drivers previously agitated by his aggressive actions into admirers for his guts and willingness to try something no one had ever done before.  

With the 2023 season upon us, NASCAR Race Hub returned to the airwaves this week and one of the first orders of business, reviewing the 2022 campaign, and of course, the highlight of the season, the Hail Melon. It was during that segment the former Joe Gibbs Racing driver admitted he was jealous of the watermelon farmer, who understood and gladly admitted that he now has a lot of haters.   

Kyle Busch has incident with Ross Chastain

Kyle Busch watched his JGR teammate Denny Hamlin involved in multiple incidents with the No. 1 car earlier in the 2022 Cup Series season. In August at Richmond, it was the No. 18’s turn. 

Just past the halfway point of the race, the Trackhouse driver went into the corner, slid up the track slightly, and got into the left rear of Busch, sending the yellow M&M’s Toyota for a spin. Moments after the race, in which Busch managed to rebound and finish ninth, he talked about the incident. 

“We got Chastained this week,” he said. “We were his victim this week.”

Busch admits jealousy of Chastain move

In addition to Busch and Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, and several other drivers believed they had been wronged by the Trackhouse driver’s actions during the year and weren’t pleased. Interestingly, following the final race of the 2022 season at Phoenix, no drivers were referring to Chastain’s aggressive driving in a bad way, but instead in awe of it and the video-game move he pulled off at Martinsville that became a viral sensation. 

During the first week back for the 2023 season of NASCAR Race Hub, one episode revisited the last-lap move and included interviews with multiple drivers. 

“I didn’t think it would work,” William Byron said. “Physics-wise, I didn’t think it would work.” 

“Last time I watched it it still doesn’t look real to me,” Ryan Blaney admitted.

“Took a lot of guts. A lot of unique thinking,” Christopher Bell acknowledged.  

Kyle Busch talked about the Hail Melon and how it made him feel. 

“I kick myself to today that I didn’t pull that move a year earlier,” a jealous Busch said. 

Watermelon farmer gets last laugh

In addition to Busch and the remarks from the other drivers, the segment also included comments from Chastain, who smiled through it all when gladly admitting he knew how much his competition didn’t like that he was the one who pulled off the move and was receiving the worldwide attention.

“They all hate it. They hate talking about it. They hate that I did it. They hate that I did it first. They’re never going to get to live it down,” the 30-year-old driver said. 

He’s right. Especially now with NASCAR officially banning the move from ever happening again in the future. 


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